Gaia Online is a web community where you can meet people and play games in a virtual environment.
Starting as a humble fan site and forum for Anime lovers, Gaia Online has morphed into a thriving online community which borrows elements from Facebook. MySpace, Second Life and Farmville, and which attracts more than 1 million forum posts per day!
After creating your Gaia Online profile and customizing your avatar, you’ll be encouraged to complete a series of challenges in order to become a Gaia citizen. These are all pretty easy and generally just involve clicking links, posting status updates and filling in more details about yourself. Once you’ve gained citizenship, the weird and wonderful Gaia Online world awaits you.
Exploring Gaia's features
There are so many elements to Gaia Online that it’s very difficult to know where to start. There is an introductory tour you can take, but it’s far from comprehensive, so you’re probably better off just going through all of the menus one-by-one to discover Gaia Online.
The My Gaia section allows you to personalize your entire persona. You can dress up, pimp your ride, decorate your crib, and even cultivate your own virtual fish tank. Of course, only basic items are available at first and you’ll need to visit the shop if you want to purchase cool stuff to improve your appearance and make your car and house look better. This is done using Gaia gold, which can be earned in the game, or bought using real money.
Head to the World section of Gaia Online and you can start exploring and meeting people. There are plenty of places to hang out and chat, such as in towns or at the rallies. Here your character can move around freely, chatting to anyone you come into contact with, in much the same way as Second Life. The virtual world in Gaia Online even allows you to sit and watch YouTube videos in a virtual sitting room with other users.
Gaia Online also has a social hub, where you can post status updates, chat via instant messaging and connect with people you know in the ‘real’ world.
Gaia Online is very much aimed at teenagers, especially those who are into Manga and Anime. Comics appear on the site regularly, the protagonists of which appear in various places on Gaia Online.
If you’re looking for a place to meet new people and escape the real world for a while, Gaia Online can be a good hang on. However, there are so many different aspects to the site that it can get a bit overwhelming to navigate.