A couple of days ago TechCrunch posted about Just Leap In, another browser-based virtual world.
After playing about with it for a couple of hours I have come to the conclusion that it is pretty rubbish. Whilst, unlike Google’s defunct Lively, you can embed videos and pictures in your room (notice the beautiful picture of my pen), it still suffers from limited customization of objects and avatars, and is room-based rather than world-based. If Google couldn’t make this sort of product work, how will ‘Just Leap In’ succeed…they can’t even come up with a decent name! The site doesn’t seem to offer anything particularly innovative.
I always seem to like the idea of virtual worlds more than the reality of virtual worlds. Whilst a 3d web may seem like a natural extension of the current web to many, and undoubtedly has csome useful applications, the truth is that many things work better in the flat-document format and most people don’t need a 3d web upgrade. Obviously this opinion is waiting to be blown out of the water by a killer-3d-app that everyone will want to have; I’m just not seeing it yet, and every time I see another run of the mill 3d site I become a little more disillusioned.