What the chattering classes have chosen to call the “Metaverse” continues to grow in popularity and public awareness, which is all to the good.
Because VR is a great and exciting place to spend your time.
There are indeed real concerns about its future — most importantly, how will the world’s billionaires seek to profit off access, and will they find a way to corner VR’s “real estate” market. Audere has reported on this subject before, and we will report more on this soon.
But for now, VR is the best, cheapest entertainment around, and access is available to all.
Going out to a movie in VR, for example, is cheaper than IRL (“in real life”). It’s much cheaper to join a VR health club than an IRL gym, and to see a musical performance at a bar, or dance at a nightclub, is generally free.
There is no risk of catching Covid in the ‘verse.
Indeed, if you have Covid, you can still go out, in VR.
And if you want to open up your own nightclub, just build a world and invite the universe.
You can even throw a party in your mansion, and friends from around the world can pop by without plane fare.
Right now, you don’t need to pay any rent on that beautiful mansion, big enough to accommodate all your friends from all over the world.
All that may soon change, so enjoy this moment.
Dance Rave of the Week
Saturday, January 22nd, 5:45 pm EST, AltspaceVR, free
Last month, we wrote about a Tokyo dance club we visited in virtual reality, a really terrific venue in a sleek, high-rise building, with a great view; you could even wander the city streets if you needed a breath of air. This was a “MOMA Rave,” one in a series of events that feature meticulously designed, photo-realistic worlds, great music and enthusiastic crowds.
The MOMA events, incidentally, have no affiliation with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; “MOMA” is instead a combination of the name of one of founders (Manon) and the VR identity of another founder (Monster).
These events, writes world-builder and organizer Mikael Zacke Zachrisson, “started out on March 26, 2021, … when a previously regular event had a break. This soon grew into the recurring event called MOMA Raves. Thanks to great dance music together with frequent newly built, interesting venues, well-proportioned innovative dancefloors, a realistic feel and a welcoming community, MOMA Raves soon grew into one of the most visited regular European dance events, and with upcoming event number 25 it is closing in on its one-year anniversary.”
The new world for this Saturday’s MOMA dance rave is still under construction as we go to press (so to speak) late Wednesday night. Whether or not this new mystery world is ready in time, or a previously built venue is substituted, the event promises EMD music in a beautiful nightclub, and an immersive, realistic experience.
UN Forum of the Week
Monday, January 24, 2022, from 3:00 AM to 2:59 AM (EST), AltspaceVR, free
This one we know nothing about, but it seems more than worth exploring.
Between January and August of 2022, as part of the #ActNow Immersive VR Experience, once per month we will unveil a new custom-built virtual environment that digitally replicates an existing place, and we will host a 24-hour moderated live event with storytellers, performers, and artists. Each month participants will learn about different climate threats, SDG actions, and solutions, while celebrating a different UN International Day.
The venue for the first day of events is a VR reconstruction of Al Wasl Plaza, in Dubai.
“Portal into a virtual Dubai,” the organizers write, “to join a live audience of avatars from around the world in celebrating the theme of CONNECTING MINDS, CREATING THE FUTURE.”
While said to be aligned with the UN’s ActNow campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability, as with many, many VR events, we’ve been unable to find further information about this.
Still, this is a monthly series, which stretches through August, with future events to be held at virtual, immersive re-creations of Shilin Stone Forest in Kunming, China, Tsimanmpetsotse National Park in Nosy Ve Androka, Madagascar, India’s Taj Mahal and New York’s U.N. Headquarters, so we will have time to report on this further in later columns.
We believe that this event is indeed part of a sincere effort to save the planet.
But either way, a virtual-reality Dubai is definitely worth seeing.
Party of the Week
Thursday, January 20, 2022, from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM (EST), free
Like “Pagodascope,” which we highlighted in our last column, Bratwurst Meets the World is a biweekly party, scheduled for a European evening, which we Yankees can enjoy in the afternoon.
Organizer “Mel Mel” tells us that the name is designed to attract Germans to VR, who are otherwise hesitant to mingle in Altspace. Still, she assures us, “This event is meant for everyone from everywhere, to mingle and chill with friends, to talk and have fun, to meet new people.”
While organizers Mel Mel, Klaus, Menno and Simsimer generally rely on Simsimer’s boundless imagination, this week’s “Invasion Party” is based on a template by a worldbuilder called Optic.
The Bratwurst worlds are fantastical and playful, rather than hyper-realistic, and Mel Mel promises great fun and conversation, as well as “hidden surprises to be found.”
Coming up next
The Metaverse presents a great new way of watching movies and TV in an amazing new format, and also recreational activities. In the next column, we’ll give you some of our picks.
Audere Magazine regularly publishes articles about technology and VR. Read more here.
Image design by Steven S. Drachman, based in part on a photograph by HammerandTusk/Pixabay