You can experience virtual worlds, make friends, and even live a "second life" in free online virtual reality games which simulate various aspects of the real world.
Playing Free Online Virtual Reality Games
Although the words "virtual reality" conjure up ideas of heavy headsets and masks and full-immersion experiences, many virtual reality games, or those games in which you can live some piece of real life in a virtual world, can be played for free on the Internet.
Some of these games, such as Second Life, let you live in a world very similar to the one which you already inhabit. Others, like Avalon, let you inhabit a world like the one of the Middle Ages. There are many other games that let you play with virtual pets or even cook food in a virtual simulation. If you're interested in a role-playing universe, try one of these free online virtual reality games.
Perhaps the most popular free online virtual reality game, Second Life allows you to build an avatar, or a stimulant with whom you play the game, and live and interact in a world like the one in which you truly live. People in Second Life have jobs, seek out entertainment, fall in love, have families, build houses, and even engage in the arts such as music. In Second Life, you can create an avatar that is an animal, vegetable, mineral, or a combination of all of these, so that you won't have to be restricted to living a life too close to your own. Second Life is also useful in that people can actually meet and become involved in education, art, and romance through their avatars in the game. It is used all across the world as a tool to interact beyond the scope of what is normally thought of in a video game world.
Avalon is a live-action role playing game wherein users can inhabit a world just like the one of Medieval Europe. Players start out in one of four cities: the justice-loving, Mercinae; Thakria, a city of debauchery and darkness; the freethinking seaside town of Parrius; and Springdale, a small village transformed recently into a bustling economy. The universities in these towns serve to educate the citizens to become knights, magicians, thieves, sorcerers, bards, and other types of people who inhabit the kingdom. Novices, upon graduation, will pursue their chosen course in life, hoping to make their mark on Avalon forever.
Kaneva is a game similar to Second Life. Kaneva has been described as a combination of Second Life and MySpace. Like Second Life, Kaneva is a virtual world based on modern times, and users inhabit an avatar which you can fashion after your own likeness or to look the way you've always wanted.
You can watch multimedia on your virtual television set, go to a virtual shopping mall, and decorate your virtual home with whatever virtual products and furniture you like. However, Kaneva has the added benefit of connecting users to one another in a similar manner to the way MySpace works, allowing them to interact, play virtual games, and view media together. Instead of posting pictures and videos to your wall on Facebook, or including links in a tweet like on Twitter, Kaneva lets you share them in a way that mimics a face-to-face meeting.
While these virtual worlds are extremely fun and educational, some people will not want to immerse themselves fully into a virtual world in order to experience the fun of virtual games. Shorter virtual reality offerings are also available as free web games or downloads, and these often focus on just one aspect of virtual life.
- MaraPets allows you to have a virtual pet to love and care for.
- 123Bee is a website that allow players to experience various aspects of cooking, from a fast food restaurant to a bakery to an ice cream shop.
- Virtual Teenager allows you to play as - you guessed it - a virtual teenager.
- Zanpo lets you build and destroy cities.
With a simple search, virtual experiences that mimic the way life is - or the way life once was - are available online without you ever having to pay a single dollar.