Art Galleries in Social VR and Virtual Worlds: An Overview

Virtual worlds are natural homes for art galleries. Artists can design galleries and installations and reach whole new audiences using the various metaverse platforms. In this blogpost, I am going to provide an overview of art galleries in various social VR platforms and virtual worlds.

Second Life

Second Life has long been home to dozens of virtual galleries and exhibit spaces. You could easily spend the better part of a week just visiting galleries! In fact, there is an Art Galleries of Second Life website and even an in-world HUD you can pick up at any participating gallery, which allows you to teleport from gallery to gallery in-world! I have spent many an enjoyable hour doing exactly that.

MissDrag at the Fractal Insanity Art Gallery in Second Life

In addition to the Art Galleries of Second Life HUD, there is also the Arts section of the Second Life Destination Guide to explore, as well as sims with dozens of small art galleries, such as the Virtual Hotel Chelsea and the Windlight Art Gallery sim.

The Virtual Hotel Chelsea

OpenSim

Like Second Life, OpenSim is home to many virtual art galleries. The best way to find them is to use OpenSimWorld’s excellent directory service.

Parc Des Arts, FrancoGrid (OpenSim)

Occupy White Walls

Of course, no discussion of virtual art galleries would be complete without a mention of Occupy White Walls! This is a virtual world focusing on art gallery building and art collection curation, which already has many fans. I can recommend it highly. It’s great fun!

Sansar

Sansar is already home to many art galleries. The best way to find them is simply to search the Sansar Atlas on keywords like “art” or “gallery“.

The Urban Art Experience in Sansar

High Fidelity

One of the problems with High Fidelity is that, while there is a listing of domains sorted in order of popularity on their website and in their tablet UI, it is not possible to do a keyword search for “art” or “gallery” as you can in Sansar or Second Life. This makes it difficult to find art galleries and installations in HiFi. There are a few art installations I have blogged about, such as White Moth, a High Fidelity domain created by the well-known Second Life artists Bryn Oh and Cica Ghost

White Moth

VRChat

VRChat is also home to many art galleries and exhibits, including several curated by Godfrey Meyer III (a.k.a. GM3). Your best bet is to do a keyword search for “art” or “gallery” under the World tab in your pop-up user menu.

Blogs

Another way to find art exhibits in many different social VR/virtual worlds is to follow blogs. One good one to follow is Travel AgentM83, who covers interesting locations (including art) on a multitude of platforms.

What about you? What art discoveries have you made while exploring the metaverse? Please feel free to leave a comment, thanks!

Advertisements

1,100 Blogposts! Some Statistics

The RyanSchultz.com blog has hit another milestone: 1,100 blogposts! (Well, really, it’s 1,102 blogposts. The results of my most recent reader poll was actually my 1,100th blogpost.)

Since I started this blog on July 31st, 2017 (the date that Sansar officially opened its doors to the public), I have made 1,102 blogposts. That works out to nearly two blogposts per day! Wow!

You might be interested to know what the top 20 most-visited blogposts have been so far. Quite a few of them have changed positions since the last time I did this list:

  1. RyanSchultz.com Reader Poll: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In? (Feb. 21st, 2019)
  2. More Details on the Upcoming Ability to Change Your User Name in Second Life (March 22nd, 2018)
  3. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars (Sept. 24th, 2018)
  4. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: The Four Best Freebie Stores in SL (May 15th, 2018)
  5. Pick of the Day: Aech’s Garage, the Ready Player One Movie Experience in Sansar (Jan. 8th, 2018)
  6. Oasis: A Brief Introduction to a New, Adults-Only Social VR Platform (August 7th, 2018)
  7. Second Life Versus Sansar: Why Linden Lab Can’t Win, No Matter What They Do (March 9th, 2018)
  8. Earning Money Creating Custom Avatars in VRChat: An Interview with Ghoster (April 27th, 2018)
  9. List of Social VR/Virtual Worlds (constantly updated)
  10. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Where to Get Both Versions of the New Free Male Mesh Avatar Head and Body by Altamura, Plus the Best Freebie Stores for Men! (May 2nd, 2018)
  11. Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Male and Female Mesh Full-Body Avatars from Altamura! (Aug. 3rd, 2018)
  12. An Updated Comparison Chart of the Twelve Most Popular Social VR Platforms (Nov. 25th, 2018)
  13. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Male Second Life Avatars (Oct. 4th, 2018)
  14. Reader Poll: On Which Social VR Platforms/Virtual Worlds Do You Have a User Account? (Aug. 21st, 2018)
  15. A Complete List of Every Social VR Space and Virtual World Platform I Have Written About on The RyanSchultz.com Blog (May 10th, 2018)
  16. VRChat Pick of the Day: Club Transcendia (March 11th, 2018)
  17. Second Life Infographic: Some Statistics from 15 Years of SL (April 23rd, 2018)
  18. Virtual Reality Vs. Real Reality (Jan. 2nd, 2018)
  19. Why Women Don’t Like Social VR: Interview with Jessica Outlaw (Feb. 17th, 2018)
  20. Utherverse and the Red Light Center: A Brief Introduction (May 26th, 2018)

All of these blogpost have racked up over 1,000 views each. Of these Top 20 blogposts, 8 were about Second Life (a popular topic on my blog since I started blogging about steals, deals, and freebies in SL). Two were about Sansar, and another two were about VRChat. Two were polls, and another three were lists or charts of various social VR platforms/virtual world products.

Interestingly, my few blogposts about adult/sexual virtual worlds have seen a recent bump in traffic (mainly from search engines), in particular the ones for Oasis and Utherverse/Red Light Center. Apparently, lots of people are searching for sex in virtual worlds! Who knew?!?? 😉

In fact, search engines (overwhelmingly Google Search but also less popular search engines like Bing) are the number one source of traffic to this blog. Here are my Top 10 referrers:

  1. Search engines (Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.)
  2. Facebook (although this has gone down considerably since I left Facebook)
  3. Reddit
  4. the official Second Life community forums
  5. Google+ (soon to shut down)
  6. Twitter
  7. the VirtualVerse user forums (formerly known as SLUniverse)
  8. the official High Fidelity user forums
  9. YouTube
  10. Wagner James Au’s blog, New World Notes (thanks, Wagner!)

The Top 10 countries from which I get visitors are:

  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. France
  7. Netherlands
  8. Italy
  9. Brazil
  10. Spain

And I saved the best for last! My all-time Top 10 most popular search terms used by people to find this blog!

  1. amazon (?!)
  2. ryan schultz’s 2 blog posts packed with info on the free or cheap mesh bodies/heads” (LOL! Someone searched this exact phrase 17 times! Hey, it worked!)
  3. inworldz closing”
  4. avilife
  5. inworldz new grid”
  6. vibehub
  7. ” how to remove a default head in second life”
  8. ryan schultz
  9. “ninja suits” (?!??)
  10. livcloser

For more information on InWorldz, AviLife, VibeHUB, and LivCloser, please check my list of social VR/virtual worlds.

Here’s to the next thousand!

Photo by Ankush Minda on Unsplash

UPDATED! Adventures in VR: Oculus Home, Somnium Space, Sinespace

This morning I decided to spend a little time in my Oculus Rift visiting three social VR platforms that I have not spent a lot of time in recently: Oculus Home, Somnium Space, and Sinespace.

Oculus Home

I was genuinely curious about Oculus Home after David Hall posted his video to YouTube, so I made sure to spend some time exploring it and learning about its new features. Basically, you can design your own home (even import your own content now), create multiple homes, and visit other people’s homes. You can set any of your homes to private, friends only, or public.

The software is still a little bit buggy. Multiple times I tried to favourite other people’s homes which I liked and wanted to be able revisit later, but it would not save my choices. Moving around is a bit cumbersome at first, but you can change the default teleport to walk and the default snap turning to smooth turning, so once I was able to fiddle with the settings a bit I felt a little more comfortable. I also encountered a few sticking points in the tutorials, which also could use a bit of tweaking.

Another problem is finding places to explore. There is a Recommended list of homes under Places in the pop-up menu, but it’s rather short (perhaps not many people have set their homes to public yet). Oculus Home is not really set up yet to allow you to easily browse other people’s experiences as you already can in Sansar with the Sansar Atlas, which is sortable in various ways (most popular, recently created, etc.).

And, in what I call “the VRChat/Rec Room problem”, there appear to be a lot of children and immature adults on the platform. Yes, there is asshattery, tomfoolery, and trolling already! It’s hardly surprising, really. After all, anyone who owns an Oculus Rift VR headset has access to Oculus Home.

However, I cannot deny that the experiences I visited were beautifully rendered, especially at the highest graphics settings in the options. I am eager to see where Facebook/Oculus takes this.

Somnium Space

I always have the same problem whenecer I try to start Somnium Space: I can’t remember the automatically-generated password! So I had to go through the whole rigamarole of resetting my password. This time I made sure to check the “remember password” option!

Unlike most other social VR platforms, Somnium Space appears to be one large landmass (mostly empty at this point). There’s a few places to explore, like a seaside town, a working bowling alley, and a shopping mall, but not a lot else yet.

There’s a very handy snapshot feature in Somnium Space which I used to take some in-world photos, but unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you what directory it is saving them to on your hard drive! After hunting around fruitlessly for fifteen minutes, I simply gave up.

There are also teleporters which tell you that can actually use them to teleport from Somnium Space to High Fidelity, JanusVR, and AltspaceVR, but they don’t work. Or at least, I couldn’t figure out how to work them. I gave up on that too.

Somnium Space really could use someone to provide better user documentation of features like the camera and the teleporters. Other than that, they’re off to a promising start, having raised over US$60,000 in their recent IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign.

Also, I decided today to set up a new category on my blog just for Somnium Space.

Sinespace

When I first tried Sinespace in VR last May, it was seriously buggy. I am sorry to report that the situation has not improved any. To enable VR mode in Sinespace, you have to download a special beta OpenVR client, install it, open it, make sure you enable OpenVR in the user settings and then restart the client software. (A bit fussy, in my opinion, compared to the seamless switching between desktop mode and VR mode in competing platforms like Sansar and High Fidelity.)

I found the level of jitteriness to be so severe that I had to take off my VR headset after only a couple of minutes before I got sick. In addition to that, whenever I teleported anywhere, I landed up facing the opposite direction from where I started. The user interface menus are positioned too close to your eyes. At one point, I was looking at the backside of the Explore menu! I could go on, but you get the idea: this is simply not ready for prime time yet. I was actually very disappointed.

UPDATE 9:03 p.m.: Well, I asked on the official Somnium Space Discord server, and someone told me where to find the snaphots I had taken (they were saved to the C:/Users/[username]/Documents/Somnium Space/Tablet Camera folder):

My avatar in Somnium Space
The teleporter I couldn’t get to work 🙁