Tyra banks recently launched her own virtual world called Tyra’s Virtual Studio I saw a short commercial for it while i was flipping channels and my curiosity got the best of me so I had to check it out. Luckily they have an Alpha version for Mac OSX which worked fine on my laptop. Tyra’s world is very comic book like. The avatars look like flash renderings and the bodies are outlined with thick black lines. Once you get into the world it is very easy to navigate with an avatar but teleporting seemed to take a long time.
There is a lot of commercial media in Tyra’s Studio. The browser/client runs a media player while you explore the world and the player shows you the artist and album of any songs that play. Users can even rate songs as they play in the media player. I liked that feature a lot. There have been many times i have been in SL and i wanted to know the name of a song but there was no way of finding it. I was on at 3:30 am CST and their were many people hanging around chatting and dancing. I didn’t see any camping chairs : )
The world seems small and that is likely the reason the world seemed so heavily populated. I only spent about 30 minutes exploring so my observations are very limited in scope. The avatar gestures were easy to use and they had plenty of options for a noob. The dancing was much smoother than i have seen in Sl and the default dances, about 25 or so, were well made and actually looked like REAL dancing. I made a short video of my experience.