Video games have long tried to simulate some aspects of reality. Virtual games are the closest video games to approach to that lofty goal. There are many virtual games available online. Some of these games simulate day-to-day events, while others simulate a more fantasy-based realm. Many of these games are in 3D and are targeted for a teenage audience.
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Moove Online is a game that launched in 1997. It has been expanding ever since, with improved graphics every year. It is a social game, so there is no way to win. Instead, you socialise as you would in real life. Chat, flirt, date, marry and have children with people all over the world and all from with the safe confines of a virtual world. You can also hold virtual jobs to make more money. The controls are simple, based mostly around the use of the mouse. The best aspect of this game is its customisation. You start by creating your own 3D avatar. Design your own clothes and accessories and chat in real time with voice chat and webcams. Design your own home with personalised furniture, accessories and uploaded pictures from your own personal collection. Perhaps the best thing about Moove Online is that it available for free. Paying £6.40 a month will unlock a few extra features, such as fashionable furniture and clothes, but the game is fully playable without paying a dime.
Teen Second Life
Second Life has become one of the most popular 3D virtual games online. Teen Second Life is the offshoot that is focused, naturally, on teenagers from 13-17. This is another "real-life" simulation game, but it features stronger graphics than Moove Online. You create your online avatar and customise its look. You can then explore a massive, constantly changing 3D world, meeting new teens and crafting your own world. The game play is completely customisable. Players can create their own buildings, clothes, furniture and vehicles. Anything that players create can be sold for in-game or real life dollars. You can also find and hold jobs and go to virtual concerts, night clubs, bars and restaurants. The options are limited only by the player's imagination. Subscription rates vary. Paying by month costs £6.40. Paying every three months costs £14.60 and paying once a year costs £46.
First Age Avalon
First Age Avalon offers a bit of a different spin on the 3D virtual world. Instead of simulating a real-world experience, it offers a vast and exciting fantasy world to explore. The game is based on Greek myths, Dungeon and Dragons and the Lord of the Rings. It plays in real time. You start by choosing a gender, name and race for your character. Unfortunately, this is all the customisation you can do with the look of your character. Once you start, you are thrust into a world where every choice matters. You can choose to go the route of good and try to protect others or you can go the route of bad and exploit others for your own gain. Other teens will be playing the game and making the same kinds of difficult decisions. It features an expansive combat system where you can choose from hundreds of attacks, counter attacks and blocks. Meeting people and creating clans can lead to massive military encounters involving hundreds of players.
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