Sansar Studios has put dozens of Ready Player One-inspired T-shirts for men and women up in the Sansar Store, and they are all FREE! So I am going to show you a few of the designs available.
I have paired them with a new line of denim skirts made by Solas. Solas NaGealai is a well-known fashion designer in Second Life as the owner of BlueMoon Enterprise (SL store, blog) and the co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs (SL Store, SL Marketplace, Flickr), and she is now creating and selling clothing for Sansar avatars under her Lune Bleue brand name. The denim skirts are available for S$75 each in the Sansar Store.
How do you find out what’s going on in the various social VR spaces/virtual worlds? Often the best way is to consult their upcoming events listings. In this blogpost I am going to link to all the various event schedules that I have been able to locate for each of the major metaverse platfrorms.
First, let’s start off with Second Life. The Events listing in the Second Life client (under Search in the Firestorm client) can be a bit overwhelming due to the sheer magnitude of events listed (there’s also a lot of store advertising spam mixed in). You can use the handy drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Search window (under the General, Moderate, and Adult checkboxes) to limit your searching to, say, live music events. There’s also an events page on the Second Life website, which doesn’t appear to have as many events listed as you can find using the client. There’s also a Featured Events listing in the Destination Guide, which can direct you the major events happening around the grid.
Sansar has an upcoming events calendar within the client software, displayed prominently on the right-hand side of the screen when you first log in. There’s also a Rolodex icon labelled Events in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, which you can click at any time to see the events listings:
High Fidelity has an upcoming events page in pinboard, agenda, or calendar month views. Unfortunately, there’s no events listing within their client, on their tablet user interface, so you’ll have to rely on the website to get your information before you go in-world.
(Update: I just discovered that there is an in-world display board of upcoming events in High Fidelity’s Start domain, which you can search for on your tablet UI under the “Go To” icon:
Sinespace has an Events section on their official blog, but it’s not updated very often. You’re better off loading the Sinespace client software and getting information from the Upcoming Events section on the left-hand side of the log in screen:
There’s also an upcoming events board located near the spawn point at the Sinespace Welcome Centre:
VRChat actually has a VRChat Events website with links to their Discord server and to an online calendar of events. This is a separate Discord server from the very busy main VRChat Discord server, with different channels for each of the regularly scheduled events happening in VRChat, including the popular Endgame talk show. There’s simply no better way to stay abreast of everything that’s happening in VRChat! There’s also an official events calendar on the VRChat website. (Surprisingly, there is no upcoming events listing within the VRChat client, a glaring omission.)
I just realized today that there is one fairly popular social VR/virtual world platform I haven’t covered in this blog yet, and that is Rec Room by the company Against Gravity, which was first released in 2016.
Here’s the description of the social VR app from its Oculus Home description:
Welcome to Rec Room, the virtual reality social club where you play active games with friends from all around the world. Customize your appearance, then party up to play multiplayer games like Paintball, 3D Charades, Disc Golf, and even four player co-op adventures! Or just hang out in The Lounge (free membership required). Plus new activities and fun stuff added frequently.
The first thing I noticed about Rec Room was the avatars, which are blocky and cartoony, basically a head, torso and hands, without arms, legs or a neck.
Now, those of you who read this blog regularly know that I have a pet peeve about cartoony avatars (hello, Facebook Spaces!). However, in the case of Rec Room, there is more of an emphasis on an all-ages, children-friendly environment, so I’m more willing to accept cartoon avatars. (Kind of like those Saturday morning cartoons I used to spend all Saturday morning watching as a kid. Is that still a thing?)
The emphasis in Rec Room is on fun and games. The main room is a gymnasium, which is usually full of other avatars running around and yelling (mostly children). There are about a dozen doors leading to separate game-playing areas: everything from disc golf to paintball to laser tag, even charades! You can earn in-world currency by completing activities and completing daily challenges, which you can then spend on exclusive merchandise (like a red fireman’s hat) that you can wear.
If you’re looking for something different and fun, Rec Room might just be up your alley. It’s available as a free app for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR headset. (Note that there is no desktop-only version of this app; you do need to have one of the three VR headsets to play.)
This is a very interesting video showing off a new omnidirectional treadmill which allows you actually take steps and walk around in virtual reality experiences! Apparently, this treadmill actually appears in the movie Ready Player One. According to the description in the YouTube video from Adam Savage’s Tested channel:
We step onto the Infinadeck, the omnidirectional treadmill seen in the movie Ready Player One. This treadmill lets you walk freely in virtual reality, in any direction. We learn about how it works and give our impressions on the state of the technology today
They actually talk about using this 500-lb. rig for fitness applications and firefighter training. Very cool—and probably also very expensive! (No price for this product has been announced yet.)
It would be so cool to be able to walk around inside Sansar experiences or High Fidelity domains, though!