Seems everybody can get an avatar now – Zuis, penguins, fairies, and urban vinyl for kids and human-like ones in Second Life (teen and adult), Google's Lively, Sony Home, and now the Xbox gaming community. Microsoft is giving demos but says it won't be releasing the new "Xbox Live Experience" till "before Christmas," CNET game blogger Daniel Terdiman reports. But hardcore gamers for whom "Xbox Live is nearly as much a home as where they actually live" needn't worry, he says. The service is not becoming "a place for purely casual players" as they feared. He says casual gamers will like the "deeply customizable avatars," but there's also "all kinds of new functionality that will actually reward the dedication of the hard-core Xbox player." See the review for examples.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
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Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
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