IMVU & Avatars are trending dangerous ground…
Re: DA Warns of Dangerous New Chat Room – IMVU.com
First there was MySpace.com, then Runescape, now prosecutors believe the chat room alternatives have taken an alarming turn for the worse. They have literally entered a new dimension. IMUV.com is a new, 3-D environment using animated Avatars. Avatars have generally been an Internet user’s representation of himself or herself in the form of a three-dimensional model sometimes used in computer games. IMVU participants design an Avatar which becomes a fully 3D character. They create their own persona and choreograph activities with others they meet in this chat room.
In the last two days District Attorney Investigator Mike Harris has received numerous calls from concerned parents about IMVU.com. In the interactive IMVU environment participants create a profile as in other chat rooms, but they also create how they look, act and interact with others. A quick look at the list of profiles in Colorado alone shows kids aged 11 through their teens, and adults in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Participants in IMVU have hundreds of options for their physical attributes including skin color, hair color and style, eyes, brows, hands, etc. They then have hundreds of options for clothing: tops, bottoms, sleepwear, shoes, gloves and accessories. The newly created persona then enters one ofa choice of several “chat” locations, waits to be approached and the visits begin. There are many choices of demeanor and actions such as “flirty”, “bashful” “angry”, and several different types of “hugs” and “kisses”. The characters look like animated kids, boys and girls. To one concerned parent, it appeared that her child was simply playing an interactive game on the computer with dolls.
District Attorney Scott Storey warns, “The use of Avatar animation on this site will make it even more appealing to younger users. It appears to kids to be a perfect world where they can create themselves to look like they want to look and dress like they want to dress. They can direct and star in their own video. In reality it is just one more resource for predators to hide behind a facade as they lure our unsuspecting children.”
This is a nice little find from Blogsafety. Thanks to RaycerX for the heads up.
I’ve rambled enough for the day. Thoughts anyone?
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