Get Lost in the Red Universe

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Red Interactive - 'The Red Universe'
Red Interactive - 'The Red Universe'
Forget the iffy production values and questionable effectiveness of Second Life. Red Interactive out of LA has, at least aesthetically speaking, superseded the popular virtual platform with its own odd, yet inventive take on an interactive web world.

Deservedly grabbing May Site of the Month honors from the FWA, the Red Universe, which doubles as the company's official site, belies the usual drollness of an agency destination by inviting visitors to engage in conversation via an array of quirky avatars. Within scenery that resembles well-animated hilly woodlands under a night sky, visitors cross the terrain with customizable avatars that appear in the guise of anything from corseted Victorian beauties to 18th century generals to Wild West outlaws to horses and yes, even eunuchs.

Though the inspiration for this odd cast of characters is uncertain, users can nonetheless toggle their arrow keys to walk backwards, forwards and leap to the heavens, walk laterally via Page Up and Down, punch the daylights out of their cohabitants and even employ their own unique dance move with the Home key. However, the main feature appears to be the chat function, whereby inhabitants of the Universe can type messages to whomever crosses their path, set sound parameters and allow for naughty words. Meanwhile, the actual agency site with links to sections like portfolio, bio and manifesto lurks in the backdrop, yet has no disruptive effect on the actual goings about in the Universe.

All in all, Red Universe makes for one of the more highly entertaining destinations that doesn't even hint at being a campaign. When the agency asks the FWA on the homepage, "May we have another," chances are with more work like this, the organization will almost certainly oblige.
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