Avatarbook – Facebook Meets Online Gaming

For the time being, then, the bulk of information that can be shared is Avatar-related. Their skills, properties and friends can all be viewed, and their Wall. The identity of the real-life person behind the Avatar is kept private, at least for now.

Privacy

Privacy is a major issue as far as EA are concerned, so at the moment Avatarbook is fairly limited in how much information can be shared. In the Sims game you can add people to your friends list, which will provide them with a link to your Facebook profile rather than making a direct link, though that is set to change as the application grows. Also, nobody in EA Land (the Sims Online world where the application will be available) will have access to your real name – you will be searchable only by your Avatar's name. EA has stated that they intend to allow players to lower their privacy settings so that more information can be shared, but at the moment they're playing it safe.

The Future

This application obviously shows great potential, and it is something that EA is going to continue to develop as they gain feedback from users. The Sims Online game is going through a revolution at the moment, with their free trial set to become permanent free play in the very near future (with limited gameplay for non-payers, much like in Second Life). For years now Second Life has been leading the pack in terms of innovation and social interaction, but if EA keeps this up then we could be looking at a new contender for the crown. After all, they did come up with the two most popular games of all time (Sims and Sims 2), so some would say that this is less than a surprise than a belated homecoming. Certainly one to watch, at any rate.

Source by Owen Smith

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