It was Virtual Reality Day on Saturday 17th November 2018. People from all across the globe organised, facilitated or participated in events both in the real and virtual worlds. The purpose is to promote VR, allow people to try it for the 1st time for free, share specialist knowledge or topics or perhaps even sell your VR products for half price – all to help raise awareness and adoption in the industry. Activities and events took place across 74 cities – check out VR Voice for the details! I didn’t plan anything in Scotland and sadly neither did any of my other country-people (that I knew about anyway). However, all was not lost as an amazing gentleman of the name Bob Fine organised a Social VR agenda for everyone to take part in the metaverse! Collaboration between AltSpaceVR and High Fidelity platforms meant that there was an action packed agenda for everyone that lasted 24 hours in some cases!
#VRDay is a special day that aims to bring the magic of #VR to 72 cities around the world. Pop on your headset anytime and meet thought-leaders, musicians, and other VR-lovers. #VirtualRealityDay @TheVRVoice
— AltspaceVR (@AltspaceVR) November 16, 2018
It was a day of 1st’s. We had the first single dropped into VR (Miro Shot), the first live performance Futvre Lands thanks to Thomas Dolby via High Fidelity, it was the 1st time I personally entered High Fidelity (despite registering for the most number of people in VR events previously), the 1st time I observed collaboration between Social VR platforms and not only that – my personal favourite – the 1st time that I witnessed jumping into a portal between VR Worlds thanks to an amazing space that I will cover later. It may have been the 1st time for some to be ‘in’ Virtual Reality too. It may have been the 1st VR Day celebrations for some too. It may have been the 1st time for some to meet their VR role models or members of the community. One thing we know for sure is that it will not be the last! The only way is up from here. We will see more becoming involved, more collaboration, more advancements and more of a people movement!
Today we played a live set from an album that has not been released in a place that doesn’t exist. Shout out to @AltspaceVR , and to the incredible @bobfine for making it all possible. Also to the strange bumble bee avatar that danced it’s pixels off during the last song. #VRday pic.twitter.com/J8jXGKTHM6
— MIRO_SHOT (@miro_shot) November 17, 2018
AltSpaceVR had an agenda of talks from pioneers in the industry covering a range of topics. People like Alan Smithson, Cathy Hackl, Steve Bambury and Chris Madsen who are a few of my personal faves who were there alongside a heap of others! I can’t share anything specific here as I had log on and charging issues with my headset and missed a lot of the talks 😦 I did encounter a few technical issues when using the Oculus Go in AltSpaceVR and found myself kicked out of the platform a number of times throughout the day. I wanted to try to use my Mirage Solo headset whilst waiting for my Go to charge but had password issues and still waiting on my password prompt email to arrive. But once I was charged up I was able to enjoy Miro Shot’s single, Futvre Lands with Thomas Dolby and The Hive After Party with Vivian.
After taking the pictures above of Philip Rosedale (Founder of High Fidelity and Second Life) and hearing Thomas Dolby playing I decided to take the leap into High Fidelity via desktop for a while to try it out and join the party! It was a good excuse to come out of the headset and rest my eyes for a little bit too… I was a complete newb and couldn’t see where I had to go and felt a little lost. Turns out there were a few issues with some folks seeing white orbs instead of avatars. My experience on the desktop was that I didn’t see anybody at all until I was literally walking into them. I felt a little embarrassed that I wasn’t adhering to personal space rules and tried to come away only to bump into someone else as the place was mobbed lol! So massive apologies if I accidentally walked in, through or over you!!! I feel that using an HMD (headset) would be an amazing experience for High Fidelity and I would like to try that next time I visit. I’m just a graphics card away from that being possible so hopefully that will be remedied over the next couple of months 🙂 Below is how things should have looked and did look for other attendees:
— ScienceVR (@sciencevr) November 18, 2018
Using a #VR headset allows us feel present with others in. A large crowd of enthusiastic #SocialVR VR explorers gather for the @ThomasDolby live concert event in @highfidelityinc #FUTVRELANDS on #VRDay pic.twitter.com/BaMcyC1kaU
— Chris Madsen (@deep_rifter) November 18, 2018
Next I jumped back into the Oculus Go (now that it had another charge) and straight in to AltSpaceVR for The Hive After Party with Vivian Chazen. VR Apps that were showcased and demonstrated were Anyland, Big Breezy Boat, OrbusVR, Onward, Somnium Space, and VR Chat. The app that I mentioned earlier that had the portal to the various Social VR spaces was Somnium. I had never heard of it before and it looked amazing! Vivian was able to jump from there to AltSpaceVR and VR Chat I believe. Sadly I was kicked out again and decided enough was enough for one night given it was the early hours of the morning. However, you can join me and watch the replay to get caught back up again.
#VRDay 2018 was a blast! It would be amazing to hear about your experiences, what did you do this year? Has it inspired you to take on a new VR goal of any kind? Let us know! My VR Day 2018 takeaway is to organise an event in Scotland for next year. Don’t worry, I’ll still be virtual world space hopping but it is important to be inclusive and accessible so that everyone has the equal opportunity to find out what all the fuss is about 😀
Special shout out and well done to Bob Fine, VR Voice, AltSpaceVR, High Fidelity, Miro Shot and Thomas Dolby (and the many others who contributed behind the scenes to make VR Day 2018 a success).
Special shout out and well done to Mike McCready (Lethbridge College) and Kathy Bisbee (publicVR Lab and Northampton Film Festival) for their real world efforts and everyone else who made the effort for real world activities across our planet.
Special shout out to VR livestreamers: Official VR Girl, Nathie, UK Rifter, VoodooDE VR, JadeKVR and everyone else in this space and thanks for all of your efforts every. single. day.
And finally to everyone else who either did something on VR Day or continues to all year round, well done and keep going! You are amazing and we need you!
What an amazing team of pioneers you all are!