/Virtual Places/ (know as *VP* for short) is a chat program unlike any
other. Rather than a bland, text-only interface, you interact in a rich,
You can see a brief slide show
that gives you an
idea of how it works.
Every chat room is different, because each one has a picture as a
background. On top of this picture (which is actually a web page) sit
"avatars," postage-stamp size pictures chosen by the users to represent
their online identity. Not only do your words appear in the text chat
window, they appear in a talk bubble on your avatar. You can send
"gestures" (small animations and/or sounds) to the room.
There are some other unique features of VP. You can lead or join
"tours." A tour lets 2-12 avatars gather together on one large avatar
(the tour bus) and surf the web together while still chatting. You can
also play games. Battleship, Yahtzee, Backgammon, Chess, and Checkers
are all available free. Just start a game, and a special Avatar will
appear on the screen. Other chatters can join you. You'll play a private
game with your own chat program.