Vivox adds voice chat capabilities to online games and worlds like Second Life, where players otherwise must use text to communicate.

Many players prefer speaking directly to one another, but there are a number of problems that can pop up. Adding voice can slow down online games, for example, and badly-designed voice systems can confuse or overwhelm people with the babble of other players.

The Framingham, Mass. company got its start as part of FreeWorld Dialup, a free broadband phone service owned by Jeff Pulver.

The $7.8 million funding, led by Benchmark Capital with participation from previous investors, is Vivox’s second. The first round, for $6 million, was provided in 2005 by Canaan Partners and GrandBanks Capital.

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