Pointless chatrooms?

Here's a weird new piece of cyberspace for you to try out.   www.imvu.com.  It's a free login as a 'guest' to what is effectively a cross between a messenger service, a chat room and a blog!  You create your character (or avatar) and choose some clothes for them.  Additionally, IMVU give you some free credits which you can spend on-line on new items such as clothes.  If you pay for the premium membership, you can make money by designing new items for the environment yourself.

I've added a screenshot showing you what chat with another member looks like.

I began by creating a female avatar for myself (to go with the part of me that is Penny) and then changed my mind and went with a more honest male personna.  In retrospect, I think that going femme might have resulted in more chat.  In my brief experiments so far, I've noticed quite a few potential 'chatees' disappearing as soon as the chat begins and what I suspect is happening is that they ping out as soon as they can see that the person they're chatting to is not female.  My guess is that these chatrooms are frequented mosly by teenage boys.

I don't have time in my life to engage in this kind of thing.  Do you?  If so, what sort of stuff would you chat about and why wouldn't you just phone a friend instead?

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