After registering almost a month ago, I finally was able to log into the new "Muxlim Pal" virtual world. As you will recall, the owners of Muxlim had restricted access to the new virtual world due to griefer attacks that started after the BBC published a story about Muxlim Pal. Now apparently they have dealt with whatever issues existed, or beefed up their moderation tools, because I logged in with no problem this morning.
Here are my initial impressions from my first brief visit…
"Muxlim Pal" appears to be built on top of the Habbo engine, which is not surprising since the companies sponsoring both worlds are based in Finland. There are a ton of similarities. Both run on Flash in a Web browser. Muxlim Pal has the same "2.5D," blocky, lego-like appearance as Habbo.
You have very limited avatar customization tools. Basically you can choose the gender of your avatar, hair color and style, skin tone, and shirt, pants and shoes color. The men can have a moustache, a beard or a moustache and beard. Women can have a head covering… or not!
There is a clothing store that doesn't appear to be open yet. I assume as some point you will be able to kip out your avatar in various Islam-appropriate outfits.
The movement controls are the same as in Habbo: just click on the
square where you want to go and your avatar starts walking there.
Couldn't be simpler.
I didn't see any run, dance, jump or fly options. Oh but you can pray to Mecca!
You travel from place to place by clicking on the Navigation button. There are currently only eight main destinations: "My Room," the "Mosque Social Yard," the open-air concert "Arena," a Park, beach cafe, Muxlim office, shopping mall and the Central Hub.
Text chatting is accomplished by typing in the chat bar at the bottom left of the screen. A chat history is shown in a window on the left.
When I first arrived in Muxlim Pal, I encountered four other avatars in the Central Hub. I mentioned I was from Brooklyn and others volunteered that they were logging in from Egypt and the UK. Soon someone asked what we thought was about what was happening in Gaza. A few minutes later, everyone logged off, rather mysteriously.
There are no voice or direct messaging capabilities that I could see.
You can purchase various goods from the Mall using Muxlim coins. You can purchase 10 coins for 1 British Pound (about US $1.50). The only goods available at this time are furniture items that you can place in your room.
There doesn't appear to be much to do yet in Muxlim Pal besides chat and shop. Presumably music is coming from the way they have the Arena space set up.
Oh, but did I mention you can pray to Mecca!
Every user gets their own private room. The level of customization of your space seems quite limited though. Apparently all you can do is buy furniture from the store, move it around, and rotate it. The walls and floors don't appear to be modifiable. You can not add any textures, audio or video media.
It's not clear if you can invite other avatars to visit your room.
All-in-all, its hard to see what would excite anyone — Muslim or otherwise — about the Muxlim Pal virtual world. It seems like a cleaned up implementation of Habbo with very little control over your avatar, a small number of sterile places to visit, and not much fun to be had.
Hopefully as the world develops there will be more interesting content and activities to engage people. Otherwise, it's hard to see why anyone would come back.