Way to go, Google! I just had a peek at their brand new virtual world Lively and I am calling epic fail because my old laptop can run the complex virtual world of Second Life (albeit less and less enjoyably so) but cannot handle the simple graphics of Google’s new toy world. Something’s been made too damn complex to handle here. To cut a long story short: I crashed, and I crashed hard.
But that’s not my main beef with Lively and comparable 3D chats. Look at the default avatar I was decked out with: an emaciated girl with a bloated cartoon head and grossly oversized boobs (I did not get to choose avatar sex before signing up). Just look how graciously her bones protrude from her body like she’s on a diet of bottled water and cigarettes.
Yeah baby, now that’s teen friendly for you. Google must have crunched some of their own search results and must have discovered that sites promoting anorexia or costly chirurgical disfiguration rank high among the target group. We can all ooh and aah about the sex-craved morons flocking to such virtual worlds, but I don’t think that that’s the biggest problem. The problem with your kid learning about sex and engaging in virtual sex acts is mainly that you don’t want to know it’s already happening.
The problem however with kids yearning to look like Amy Winehouse or Kate Moss is that they die trying. And that there’s a whole world out there cheering them on as they hurry down the path of beautiful self-destruction. Shops which do not sell clothing for normal sizes. TV channels which do not hire female presenters with normal body sizes. Advertising agencies which do not use models with normal sizes. Record companies which do not sign contracts with women who have normal sizes. Parents proudly parading their emaciated offspring in beauty pageants. The fashion industry is doing it’s utmost to make us forget what a normal, pretty and healthy young girl can look like.
By the looks of Lively, I would say they are winning.