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VWN World Review: Playdo
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World Review: Playdo


 
Main Review

Compatible with Operating Systems:
All

World Status: Operational


World Purpose: Social

Age Suitability: Anyone


World-Type

Playdo is a purely social world system. Created in the image of a small city, the entire apparatus runs under shockwave applications ? so it will run in almost any browser. There is no client to download, and everything is broken up into sections.

Expect to see a lot of separate windows in Playdo ? each has a different function, ranging from chat, to community relations, and even web design. Below, we see the main community screen. This window manages a half dozen shockwave applications and serves as the hub of the world.




Here, the world?s separate functions come together.

1. This is the city view, each building has a specific function, and clicking on it changes window (3) with the options available. They include a police station for blocking people, a postoffice for internal emails, a supermarket to buy products, and quite a few more.

The 3D interface is disappointing: it leads to a QuickTime VR interface, with only three walls ? same as the 2D version, except you can see the ?walls? as the cube turns.

2. A complete list of who is online and in the world ? send IM, view more information about them, or just use it as reference as to how to spell a name to add it to friends, or block.

3. User controls ? check which character you are logged in with, see your description (only place this is possible), or log out.

4. All users are automatically given a ?homepage? on the Playdo site. Space reserved for this is unknown.

5. Main interface window. This shockwave application changes depending on your choices in the other windows; currently, it is offering the choice to chat, or play a game ? all free web games found elsewhere on the web ? single player only.

This window also contains entry to ?Playdo Maker? an entirely flash-based homepage maker. Good for children, but severely limited ? place text and images in floating layers, or change the background colour.

The World in Brief

The world itself is remarkably compact. It consists of nine rooms:
Entrance hall, Caf?, Gym, lakeside garden, Shed, Night-club, Game room, Male toilets, Female Toilets

All the rooms use front view of a 3D space that tilts as you move. The world is completely non-interactive, excepting that you can walk behind some fixtures. Every room is the exact same size and shape, simply with different furnishings, or colour schemes. Water does not reflect, and your presence casts no shadows. All in all, it feels artificial.

Movement is via the mouse. Click on the floor and your character will move there, click on a door, and the room beyond it will load.




There is little or no sense of real community in Playdo. The above example shows the entrance room, where most people gather. The vast majority of conversation is in whispers ? two person conversations, which leave newcomers cold.

Three different colours are used for chat ? cyan is room chat, green is a whisper to you, grey is a whisper between two other parties. Chat bubbles slowly scroll up and disappear, so this is not a program you can multitask when using.

There is a history panel, in the top left corner. Clicking on it will display all text since you entered the current room. However, it resets when you leave, and for some bizarre reason, always returns to the start of the conversation when you click it. It has no scroll bar, only clickable scroll arrows, so if you just missed something, and there were twenty minutes of conversation before that, you will spend another five scrolling.

The majority of the visitors are 7-15 years old, although this seems incidental rather than planned. However, because of the general level of immaturity, colourful language, and juvenile statements often heavily flavour the conversations that do occur.

 

Sub Reviews

Here at Virtual Worldlets, we look at all worlds, whether for entertainment, training, medicare, industry or military use. Thus, we have the situation where different uses judge by different criteria. Below are a series of sub-reviews, each tailored to a different aspect of the world.

 

Socialisers
The social life is the life for you. To chat, to roam, to gossip all day, and chatter all night. You are the heart of the party, and you are the soul. The drive to chatter, the need to gossip, stretching out, making connections, mind against mind, heart against heart. It keeps you going, it keeps you sane.

If you enjoy squeezing blood out of a stone, you may find you can slowly build up a couple of friends here, however, even the longest-term member found had only stayed for 88 days, so this is not a world in which to build up long-term relationships.

 

 

Overall
Basically a small chatroom given a graphical overview, and a lot of flashy extras which do very little. There is nothing really here to hold interest, although the chat program does seem nearly uncrashable.

 

Rating 32 / 100
Newbie Friendliness
4.0
/ 15
Community Values
4.0
/ 15
Believability
2.0
/ 15
Immersion
2.0
/ 15
Administration
5.0
/ 10
Automated help
3.0
/ 10
Code Integrity
9.5
/ 10
Entertainment
2.5
/ 10

Visit World Homesite

Client OS:Win 2K, Win 98, Win 2K, Win 2K

World Purpose:

Age Suitability:



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