The IMVU community speaks in this time of crisis.

“It’s a perfect time to play video games. And you shouldn’t feel bad about it.”

(The New York Times, March 23, 2020)

Isn’t that the truth?  Lately, it seems as though the real world is but a distant memory and our day to day routines have been completely changed. While most of us practice social distancing and are no longer able to go out to run errands, work, and see friends in real life, it’s no surprise that lately we’ve seen our IMVU community grow faster than ever before.  All of a sudden our new normal has become a completely virtual life.

In a way, the world is now united with the global understanding of the experience of social distancing and sheltering in place.  And though we come from different corners of the world, connecting through our shared differences, we believe this crisis may single handedly be the largest shared experience ever giving new meaning to this – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  As humanity, we are in this one together.

At IMVU, creating virtual life, worlds and experiences is our mission in order to give you a safe place to experience real human connection. We’ve read your stories, shared in your happiness, and celebrated your friendships — essentially YOU have proven that friendship is possible online, in virtual rooms, and most importantly despite physical or “social” distance.

And we need this now more than ever.

As you may have read in the news lately, metaverses like ours are growing at a rate faster than ever before.  TechCrunch says, “the rise of “multiverse” virtual words as the next social frontier offers hope to one of the biggest crises facing democratic societies right now.”  Even The New York Times says that video games can provide temporary relief to social isolation. 

In periods of pain, boredom or personal emptiness, video games can serve as palliative care for both the body and the mind.”

At the end of the day, the trends and the numbers are fine to read about in the news and certainly you won’t find a single site worldwide that doesn’t talk about the latest update of the Coronavirus pandemic.  But that’s not helping anyone, if anything it’s making us panic more. We want to know: What’s working? How are you staying connected? How are you coping?

Recently, we sent a message to our entire community asking for your stories.  Our goal was to find stories that we can share with others that might need help – suggestions for how to get out of their rut of loneliness, how to motivate themselves to find friends, and how to share in the fun that can be had here on IMVU.  Though there are hundreds of inspiring stories to read, here are a few that we hope will help get you through this time.  As always, we will do our best to make IMVU a place where you can connect with your friends and loved ones.

@Welsh:

I have been an IMVU member for over 10 years (from the very beginning, meeting people at Buckstars). IMVU has seen me through a lot of difficult times, such as the London terror bombings, loss of friends and family, relationships ending, the struggle with mental health, times I have been off work for a long period following hospitalizations … the list could go on! Unfortunately, I have found it difficult to make time to log in at times due to reasons such as a busy work schedule. I work in the NHS (National Health Service) but currently through the Covid-19 crisis, I have been sent home to self isolate (currently entering my third week of self isolation). Some people would enjoy being stuck at home, but I am struggling. I have kept in contact with my family via messaging and phone calls and they have been kind enough to drop off essential shopping at my front door. I have tried a lot of things to keep me occupied and my mind sane, but I cannot help but feel a sense of hopelessness and worry. Logging back on IMVU has massively helped. I can check in on my friends, make new friends and chat away all day long. I have a public chat room in which I spend a lot of time in and it has really helped. Yesterday I was really struggling but I had a friend who came online and was present with me in my room. We did not have to continuously speak, but just the sense of someone being there with me really helped. Everyone is going through this and I believe we can get through it together and come out stronger and more United than ever. I would like to thank IMVU for giving me that sense of community, which is very much needed right now. Lots of love to you all and look after yourselves, and please for the sake of our Health Care workers – stay at home & stop the spread! Come and join me in my room & say hi! Love, Welsh.

@KatyStarr:

I was first introduced to IMVU back in high school. I moved around quite a bit and never maintained long term friendships due to the constant uprooting. Every new school, I was afraid to make friends because I felt as though I’d have to leave them behind and even when we often promised to stay in contact over other social media platforms, it never lasted. When I found IMVU, it was a refreshing approach to making new friends. Not just friends here in the states but around the world. I used to log on everyday to chat with many amazing individuals, role play, and cement long term friendships. Eventually as time passed, I had to get a job and focus on my studies so I couldn’t be on VU as much as I’d liked. In fact, I eventually had stopped altogether. There would be days I had spent wondering if my friends were still hanging out in our favorite rooms and if they ever missed me. A couple of years ago, I was injured at work and had to take some time off when I started feeling rather lonely. At some point I reminisced about my high school VU and thought maybe it would be good to give it another go. I do NOT regret that decision! I’ve made so many new friends and now with events, I’m invited to so many fun themed social events and gatherings! Even now with all the misfortune and the pandemic going on in the world, it’s nice to have a place where I can gather with other people looking to spread the love and take their minds positive! I’d like to send a big thank you to IMVU for providing the wonderful atmosphere where we can be united, even while being isolated! I’d also like to extend love and light to everyone around the world in these uncertain times. 💕

@MyzTrie13G:

Hello everyone … yes it is a difficult time we are facing … and not being able to get out in the real world … IMVU is and has been for me a place that I can go for enjoyment and to interact with others … especially now, it’s ok when you can go out and don’t want to … but to actually be told that it’s wise not to … or be told not to go if you don’t have to … never thought this would happen but and things will never be the same again … never know what to expect next … but I believe God has it all in control … and things will get better in His time … we have to just trust in Him. thanks for letting me vent … God bless and keep you all!!

@Haiimatsu:

During these unparalleled times, IMVU has helped provide some form of social communication and in some way a physical one through our avatars in this 3D chat where we spend time together with those we call our friends and family. Through IMVU I was able to marry my best friend whom I not only met here on IMVU but also in the real world. With her we’ve been able to build our online DJ family; The Matsu’s. Although we are a small family, we still stick together and enjoy the many things offered within the online community. Being able to trigger together songs, and lights and enjoy each other’s company within our many rooms we shared together, we have been able to make newer friends who have no choice but to stay home due to this pandemic. It’s been fun, dramatic and even enjoyable, despite the many obstacles we have typically dealing with on IMVU. Did it stop us from staying together? No. We stayed strong no matter what. We are very grateful to use IMVU to be able to generate more friendships, have a bigger bond and laugh with one another even when the world is in fear.

@Addsie: 

I have been apart of the IMVU community for 7 years going on 8. IMVU has always been a place of safety and acceptance for me. I have made some ever-lasting friendships that I couldn’t be more thankful for. As the COVID-19 virus spreads and I am now under lockdown, I reverted to IMVU in order to keep that social aspect I need. Being able to communicate with people and build strong friendships is just one reason I have stayed through the years and continued returning. Thank you for providing these opportunities for everyone to continue to have social interaction throughout this tough time. <3

@zJujuBz:

I have thanked God for IMVU many times, but especially now in this truly trying time, I doubly appreciate you being here for all of us. I am in California and on “shelter in place”, so IMVU is truly my life line. I am a developer, so this helps me keep sane and use my creative side. When I create, I get lost in my project and the time goes by very quickly. I have met so many wonderful people here and have relationships that are very real. We get together often to dance and talk and this so helps cope with the isolation. I also believe that I see within IMVU a much more positive tone of “we are all in this together.” Kindness and tolerance are more evident and we always feel better just being among are friends here. Thank you for keeping IMVU open and running, you are serving a great cause. I wish to all of you nothing but good health. Blessings to each and everyone of you.

@Skye210484:

I would like to thank IMVU because it has really impacted my life. The fact that there’s people around the world who know about the pandemic we’re going through. I think it really helps how we can share our concerns freely and keep each other updated about the situation in our country and states. It really has changed my life and I’ve been here for about 2 and a half years. Thank you IMVU! 🌏❤️

@PhoenixOnyxHeart:

I will admit this social isolation is driving me crazy. To keep things from going too bad for me and my family, we decided to have gatherings at certain times of the day on IMVU. It helps us all to be able to have a connection without having to see each other in person, there is also Skype to be able to talk to friends face to face and be able to have a chat site such as IMVU to cure cabin fever to a certain extent, however taking short walks or exercising outside is a good thing. Other than that unless working in the real world, I come on IMVU for a little bit of play time (role playing) when I can.This helps everyone else from within our circle to be able to get together and talk and enjoy each other’s company.

@Angeliiq:

Angel here. I’ve been told to stay at home due to the pandemic going around. That usually causes me to just browse around on the internet. I suddenly start spending more time on this app, because of the close-knit community we’re in, and I can also see how this pandemic has affected others. But I’m not going to lie, at first,  not going to school, and doing work online was pretty odd to me. I also never knew how much I missed school! But now, this pandemic let me get closer to my family, and connect with them more, since we don’t see each other often due to school, and / or work. IMVU in a way, kinda helped me to find my creative self over the past few days, and I’m grateful for that. It helped me not to worry, and to stay calm even with the situation that’s going on.

@Blackxneo:

I’ve been on IMVU for 10 years now and I have noticed a huge rise in how people are coming together as a community.  I’m impressed that IMVU keeps striving all day to make this place about connecting with people. It is an amazing thing that people are using all over the world. Through this challenging time or any challenging time, people are more emotional and supportive with each other. I enjoy every little thing that IMVU has to offer, but I enjoy creating a room that’s empty the most so that I can be creative and innovative with integrity and endless variety. I created the Caribbean Villas and resorts to bring people together since people can’t even afford to go to the Caribbean.  It’s just a sense of relief and a stress reliever for people that need it right now.

@xLunaStonex:

IMVU has provided an outlet for those who have been sheltering in place and need social interaction. With this pandemic, the social community has gotten stronger with a new level of friendship and social outlets. Everyone needs someone to talk to about their feelings — some are scared and need a shoulder to cry on and some just need an outlet to forget the outside world. IMVU has provided that security that they need to forget even if it’s for a minute. I have had many conversations listening to those who just want to talk about it, and so many strangers have now become friends. If anyone needs talk about it, then that’s what we will do, after all, we’re all in this together, stay strong, stay safe!

@SonnyDesigns:

Thank you, for creating a place where we can be free to see people especially now.  IMVU is a place where there are no borders between countries, where we can walk on a beach even if we are at home, and where we can dream even if we cannot go on vacation.

IMVU has helped me a lot in the past two years. I rarely go out in the real world (even without a pandemic) due to health concerns, and IMVU helps me to escape and not get bored because there are so many amazing places to see.  I’m amazed at all of the nice people I’ve met that I would never have the chance to meet anywhere else.

IMVU is the only place where the world has no border nor disease and I’d like to say thank you for allowing us to have this space for so many years.

#BIGupIMVU 

Have faith and courage everyone. I wish you the best, take care and be safe! 💖

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