Will the fun never end? After my initial foray onto JokaydiaGRID, Jenn Forager took Chimera Cosmos and I on a quick jaunt to Jibe – a new virtual world running on the Unity 3D web player. Unity is a game development tool that creates immersive, 3D spaces within a web browser. In order to check Jibe out, all you do is download a web player patch for your browser, type in a url for a particular virtual spot (here’s the one we visited), pick an avatar (from a menu of 13 choices), type in your name when prompted (entering as a guest) – and, poof, you’re there.
As you can see from the photo, it’s a very streamlined interface with no inventory, camera controls, or movement controls. You click on your avatar and then move him/her with your mouse. Similarly you change your perspective with your mouse. The motion is very fluid and responsive. No voice, but there is text chat. While it doesn’t offer anywhere near the sophistication of Second Life, it certainly is easy. The whole process was very similar in feel to what you need to do the first time you attend a live webinar in Elluminate. This would be a good potential solution for businesses looking for a place to hold virtual meetings who do not want to make the larger commitment of downloading software and learning to navigate.