Microsoft has released the first beta of a new avatar-based chat program called V-Chat. Here's the official word:
"Microsoft V-Chat is a multi-user social chat client that lets people communication online from within a 2D or 3D multimedia environment using graphical representations of themselves known as avatars. V-Chat avatars have a full range of gestures that allow users to fully express themselves online. V-Chat enables users to select from a wide variety of existing avatars, or create custom avatars using the V-Chat Avatar Wizard. Sounds, animations, and visual imagery create mood and context for these graphical social environments. V-Chat environments have personality and dynamism, bringing new life to chat."
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