Avatar Cosplay Contest at High Fidelity: You Could Win Up to US$10,000 or an All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Silicon Valley Comic Con!

Wow. High Fidelity is really throwing the money around to promote their social VR platform! They have announced an Avatar Cosplay Contest, with some seriously impressive cash prizes:

On Saturday, March 16th, between 10 am – 2 pm PDT, we will be holding an ‘Avatar Cosplay Contest’ at Multi-Con VR. The theme for this contest is Characters in Anime + Animation.

Create your favourite characters from animated TV and movies for the 3D metaverse. Then wear them up the runway! The winner will be selected by the community.

Enter your avatar inspired by characters from Anime + Animation for a chance to win huge cash prizes. Get inspired by your favourites — No-Face, a classic princess, or even Big Chungus. Cosplay is encouraged and rewarded! The winner is voted by attendees.

1st Place US$10,000*
2nd Place US$5,000*
3rd Place US$1,000*
Every Avatar in the Contest US$300*

There will be a Grand Prize Winner after all 3 Multi-Con Cosplay Contests that will win an all-expenses-paid trip for 2 to San Francisco to attend Silicon Valley Comic Con!

Rules:
– Entries must be inspired by a character from animation
– All work must be original or ‘fair use’ of other works, including parody
– Entries must not violate other’s intellectual property
– Users cannot have web or text entities as part of their costumes
– Avatar’s longest dimension should not exceed 2 meters
– Users cannot use particles as part of their outfit

Contestants are encouraged but not required to use our flow script technology which gives clothes, hair and other attachments movement. Avatars can be humanoid or non-humanoid. Avatars can be photo-real or stylized.

* all cash prizes paid in High Fidelity Coin (HFC)

I have confirmed with High Fidelity staff that these prizes are in US dollars, paid in High Fidelity Coin (HFC; the exchange rate is fixed at 100 HFC = US$1.00). The HFC can be exchanged into US dollars through the Bank of High Fidelity.

These are extraordinarily generous prizes, especially the awarding of US$300 in HFC to anybody who is selected to participate in the contest! (Yes, that was confirmed, too.)

Note that this is only the first of three Multi-Con VR events hosted by High Fidelity. The other two are Fantasy + Sci-Fi Universes (to be held on April 27th) and Comic Book Universes (to be held on June 8th).

Here is the contest application form for the event on March 16th. Good luck!

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BINGO EXTREMO: Drag Queen Bingo in High Fidelity!

Well, this evening’s BINGO EXTREMO event at High Fidelity was well attended, with 150 avatars playing several successive games of Bingo for prizes of Oculus Rifts, HTC Vives, sums of HFC (High Fidelity’s in-world currency), or (twice) everybody present winning 100 HFC! In a surprise twist, our emcee was none other than London drag queen Lady Camden:

There were a few technical glitches (some people’s numbers wouldn’t rez on their Bingo cards, and the sometimes the board showing which numbers were called was too blurry to read), but overall, the event was a success.

High Fidelity seems to have truly mastered the ability to host events with a large number of avatars present. Congratulations to Philip Rosedale and his team for another successful Bingo night!

Metaverse Newscast Episode 2: My Interview with Noz’aj About Beyond, Winner of the Best Domain Contest at the FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity

I’m pleased to announce that the second episode of Metaverse Newscast is now available on YouTube! It’s an interview with Noz’aj, the winner of the Best Domain Contest at the recent FUTVRE LANDS Festival in High Fidelity for his epic, monumental science fiction experience called Beyond. As I have said before on this blog, it is one of the best VR experiences I had last year.

The interview includes a tantalizing peek at only a few parts of Beyond. You are encouraged to visit the domain yourself and explore it in full. It is well worth your time!

If you missed episode one, it’s available on the Metaverse Newscast channel. I’d like to thank my hard-working producer and video editor Andrew William! We plan to release one episode per month. Coming up in February is an in-depth interview with the talented Sansar scripter Galen!

Bronze and higher-level supporters of my Patreon fund-raising campaign (starting at only US$1 a month) will get exclusive previews of all Metaverse Newscast videos before they are released to the general public on YouTube. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all my patrons for helping to support both this blog and the Metaverse Newscast show. And stay tuned for more patron benefits!

High Fidelity Pick of the Day: Queen Nefertari’s Tomb

This evening I had the privilege of joining a guided tour of the tomb of Queen Nefertari of Egypt (wife of the great Egyptian pharaoh Ramses II), led by Egyptologist Bethany Simpson. Bethany has been giving these tours since late last year; she has done about a dozen so far to small groups of visitors, and she will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. (Talk about an interesting job!)

The tomb is a recreation of what it would have looked like when it was built sometime around 1255 B.C., rather than how it looks now. In some cases, details from similar royal tombs were used to “fill in the blanks” on damaged images in Queen Nefertari’s tomb. (By the way, if you are interested in seeing a highly-detailed photogrammetric recreation of the tomb as it appears to visitors now, I can highly recommend Nefertari: Journey to Eternity on Steam for HTC Vive users, or the same named app on the Oculus Store for Oculus Rift users. Both are free!)

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Bethany Simpson in Queen Nefertari’s Tomb
This is a prime example of how virtual reality can be used for high-quality educational purposes, and this recreated “tomb” avoids wear and tear by countless visitors to the actual tomb in Egypt:

The tomb was closed to the public in 1950 because of various problems that threatened the paintings, which are considered to be the best preserved and most eloquent decorations of any Egyptian burial site, found on almost every available surface in the tomb, including stars painted thousands of times on the ceiling of the burial chamber on a blue background to represent the sky.

After the discovery of the tomb, scientists have found many deteriorated paintings caused by water damage, bacterial growth, salt formation, and recently, the humidity of visitors’ breath. The tombs’ structure set itself to be vulnerable to destruction. In 1986, an operation to restore all the paintings within the tomb and to replace over 3,000 years worth of dust and soot with pasted paper to the fragile walls and ceilings to preserve the paintings was embarked upon by the Egyptian Antiquities Organisation and the Getty Conservation Institute; however, work did not begin on the actual restoration until 1988 which was completed in April 1992. Upon completion of the restoration work, Egyptian authorities decided to severely restrict public access to the tomb in order to preserve the delicate paintings found within. This restoration process lasted until 1990, when scientists decided to conceal the tomb from visitors. 5 years later, Egypt’s Prime Minister, Hisham Zazao declared the tomb to be reopened to visitors, 150 visitors at a time. In 2006, after 11 years, the tomb was restricted to visitors once again, except for private tours of a maximum 20 people purchasing a license for US$3,000. As per November 2017, holders of a 1000 EGP entry ticket or of a Luxor Pass can visit this tomb.

Here are a few more snapshots from my tour (note that I have deliberately turned on nametags over avatars’ heads; this is an option, and you can turn them off if you find it too distracting):

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You can see all the snapshots that I and others have taken of this domain on this page.

Note that you must register (for free) to get a ticket to be admitted to these tours; you cannot just go in and explore on your own whenever you want, at least, not yet! Just select a date and time from the High Fidelity Events page and get your ticket from the EventBrite website (please note that certain dates and times are already sold out).

I cannot recommend this domain (and this tour) more highly! Having a trained Egyptologist show you the highlights of Queen Nefertari’s tomb and answer questions is a truly marvelous experience! Let’s hope that we see more such events in the various social VR platforms this year (of course, there are already three separate sets of antiquities you can explore on your own in Sansar from the Voyage Live: Egypt portal experience). Have fun!