vSide was an Internet-based 3D virtual world that was launched on May 15, 2006. The game is in its public beta phase. Initially developed by Doppelganger, Inc., a studio founded in 2004, the game was acquired in June 2009 by ExitReality, which is the owner and developer. Inside the game's universe, users are called "vSiders" and can interact with each other through social networking, celebrity entertainment, virtual boutique shopping and self-expression. Membership is free.
ExitReality provides “next generation social entertainment" with vSide, where in-world activities and engagement focus on music, entertainment and fashion. vSide is designed to be an online social environment where teenagers can hang out in real-time with their friends in public and personal spaces. It is based both on professional and user-generated content or design. A major part of its concept is users hosting their own events for others to participate in. It has won the “2007 Top 100 Private Companies to Watch” award from the 2007 On Hollywood Conference and the “ CNET Top Five Selection” from the Under The Radar Conference 2007.
In addition to encouraging teenagers to express themselves through personal spaces or "apartments", vSide also encourages users to express themselves though social gestures and connections, including who they hang out with, where they’re “seen”, where they base their personal space, and the activities that they engage in. vSide also offers an extensive character customization system with over five million different clothing combinations available for free. Avatars can be additionally personalized through the purchase of virtual apparel.
As with all communities, social status is important in vSide community. Users can earn in-world status and climb a social ladder based on the number of friends they have, the number of new friends that they bring into the world and the activities they host or take part in. High social status in the world is visually represented through points so that users can immediately tell a new member of the community compared to a veteran user. High social status will gain entrance to VIP events, confer preferential access to personal spaces and allow for the acquisition of virtual goods not available to the average user.