IMVU is a social network where users create their own avatar to chat and interact with other users in an online 3D universe. According to co-founder Eric Ries, IMVU is not an acronym. Although it doesn’t stand for anything, the company settled on the name because they wanted it to be associated with instant messaging (IM). IMVU is available on web browsers, iOS devices, Android devices, and it’s own downloadable client. Users join different chat rooms to interact with one another and perform different actions. It also has typical social networking features like profiles, private messages, and groups. A basic membership is free, but it comes with limitations. Users can spend $10/month to upgrade to VIP status, which gives them wider access to a variety of features—including creating and hosting their own 3D chat rooms, sell virtual goods, and more.
IMVU will only do an age verification check when it is suspected or reported that a user is underage.
- Adult content has filtered into public areas for users.
- Black market stores have pre-created rooms with actual sex positions, body parts, and furniture that are not available in the regular store content.
Inappropriate and adult themes can be introduced to young children.
- Sexual talk or behavior in public areas of the virtual world are easily accessible.
- Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use references are common in the game.
- Users can buy a marriage badge and propose to another avatar, get divorced, buy pregnant outfits, and babies are available as accessories in the online shop.
Game promotes flirtation and sexuality.
- Users have been known to partake in virtual sex with strangers from all over the world in public areas.
- Blowing a kiss or giving someone a hug are actions players can use to entice other users to interact.
- There are many strip clubs and other sexually themed rooms that can be explored.
Hidden browsers on Apple devices can be used to hide search bars.
- Difficulties tracking users creates further complications in child abuse or harassment cases.
Children under 18 should not be on this game. The risks of viewing or hearing graphic sexual content and adult themes is extremely high—making it dangerous for young children. Even though the app requires users to send a photo of their ID in order to gain the VIP access for users 18 and older, children may still be introduced to inappropriate content.