Why just chat with someone, when you can chat in a virtual condo or apartment? Seattle startup FlowPlay, maker of the ourWorld virtual world, is promising that and much more with a new offering being announced today with Yahoo Messenger.
Instead of just chatting with text in the normal fashion, your avatar can chat with your friends’ avatar in a virtual apartment.
“What’s interesting with this project is it’s the first time an instant messenger has integrated virtual spaces, avatars and virtual goods into their product,” FlowPlay CEO Derrick Morton tells GeekWire.
As part of the offering, users of the new service can “earn” virtual currency just for chatting. The currency then can be used to purchase furniture, clothing, hairdos and more for one’s virtual creations.
“We’re basically gamifying and bringing chat to life,” says Morton, a former RealNetworks employee who started FlowPlay three years ago.
Users of Yahoo Messenger for Windows can now select the “ourWorld Condo Game” from a list of IM environments, accessing more than 32,000 virtual goods in FlowPlay’s catalog.
“…With FlowPlay on Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Games, we can help bring real-time gaming to an even broader audience,” said Morton.