Skittish: A Brief Introduction

Skittish is what you’d get if you crossed Animal Crossing with Clubhouse.

Taylor Hatmaker, TechCrunch

Skittish is a web browser-based virtual world with a whimsical spin: you can choose from one of 45 different animals as your avatar, and you can host conferences, festivals, meetups, parties, workshops, etc. in a playful cartoon world with spatial audio, where you can create virtual worlds with a drag-and-drop editor.

You wanna be a cow? You’re a cow! Just pick a starter avatar and you’re all set to go!

In fact, Skittish’s high-quality spatial audio chat uses an API from High Fidelity, the company run by metaverse pioneer and Second Life founding CEO Philip Rosedale. TechCrunch reports:

Skittish grew out of a $100,000 grant awarded by Grant For The Web, a fund created by Coil, Mozilla and Creative Commons to support projects that incorporate micropayments for online creators. [CEO Andy] Baio began prototyping Skittish last July, imagining it as a pop-up space for events rather than a persistent virtual world.

Skittish spaces initially accommodated up to 120 mixed voices in a single room, but the audio capacity is even higher now. Though he’s still testing what the new limits might be, Skittish is getting closer to Baio’s goal of hosting 1000-person events. Skittish rooms can now be password protected, invite-only or public, and Baio imagines special “cozy” 3-5 person spaces in the project’s future.

Here’s a one-minute video overview (you might need to turn your sound up a bit to hear the narrator):

Skittish reminds me of a similar product I wrote about last year, called Remotely, only in that case, instead of an animal, you were an astronaut! I can see the appeal of this if you, like me, are fighting a serious case of Zoom fatigue (although I’m not quite sure how much uptake there will be among the educational and corporate sectors!).

To learn more about Skittish, visit their website, check out their YouTube channel, or follow them on Instagram or Twitter. And, of course, I will be duly adding Skittish to my sprawling list of social VR, virtual worlds, and metaverse platforms (which I hope to reorganize and recategorize sometime soon!).


Thank you to both Dr. Fran Babcock and Rainwolf for the heads-up!

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