Yesterday I discovered the absolutely adorable Ameba Pico social avatar community through Facebook apps. So, I've decided to start a blog about navigating my way through this new virtual environment because ... well ... it's a little addictive and characteristically Japanese in its cuteness.
By Googling discovered that Ameba Pico is a product of CyberAgent Inc., a Japanese online media and advertising company. Ameba Pico is CyberAgent's English-version of their hugely popular Ameba Pigg for the Japanese-speaking community.
Upon clicking the 'Create Your Pico' button, you are given the ability to customize your Pico avatar's look with some basic newbie clothing options (I wasn't feeling the Pico 'fro, so I chose a little bun). Following your makeover, you choose a room style from 1 or 3 options, which you can later customize with furnishings.
The first time you appear in your room, you are given the option of going through a short and very easy-to-understand tutorial on how to interact and engage in the world of Picos.
There are two types of currency - Gummies (free) and Ameba Gold (purchased). Of course, Ameba Gold allows you to purchase more sophisticated clothing as well as most of the home furnishing/decor items. For those who are not interesting in purchasing currency by PayPal or credit card, there's always Gacha. Gacha is a daily lottery game that takes 100 Gummies each "spin" and gives you food, clothing items, furniture and tokens in return.
For divas and divus on a dime, gummies can be gained easily through:
- Logging into Pico each day (50 Gummies)
- Receiving Props from others up to 200x per day (10 Gummies)
- Giving food to others (10 Gummies)
- Eating food from others (10 Gummies)
- Completing one time "Bonus Chance" tasks that acclimate you to Pico and its interface like waving hello, visiting the Statue of Liberty, changing your profile info, etc. (variable; 100 - 500 Gummies)
Parents who are concerned about their child using Pico can visit the Parent-friendly Guide for further info about online safety practices in the community.
In the news ...
JCN Network > CyberAgent Opens U.S. Subsidiary, Enters Market with Ameba Pico, an English Language Version of One of Japan's Most Successful Virtual Worlds: San Francisco, Mar 8, 2010 - (JCN Newswire) - CyberAgent, Inc. has announced the launch of Ameba Pico, a new virtual community that combines gaming, social networking and e-commerce elements and tightly integrates into the Facebook environment. Ameba Pico is the first English language offering from CyberAgent and is based on Ameba Pigg, one of the most popular and successful virtual worlds in Japan. In the Japanese market, Ameba Pigg attracted millions of users in its first year and now generates seven-figure revenues per month due to strong virtual currency transactions. (Read more ...)
Inside Social Games > CyberAgent’s Ameba Pigg Virtual World Comes to Facebook as Ameba Pico: Japanese internet company CyberAgent is bringing its popular virtual world, Ameba Pigg, to the U.S. market, and to Facebook, as Ameba Pico.
Ameba Pigg has gained around 2 million users in the last 11 months, making CyberAgent one of the larger Japanese companies of its ilk. Here’s our look at the new app.
At first glance Ameba Pico does not look like much. It has a very simplistic art style, and a stiff, child-like, and limited set of animations for the avatar. But the variety and activity within this virtual world bring it to life. (Read more ...)