UPDATED! Version 2.0 of the Infographic: Social VR Platforms Organized by Purpose

UPDATE 9:05 p.m.: New version! Version 2.1 (summary of changes made is here).

Over the past two days, I have received feedback on the first version of my infographic, and I have also been doing some thinking on my own, so I have made some adjustments to it, and I now present version 2.0 to you now (I have also updated my original blogpost here). The following diagram is available to view and download in various sizes from Flickr, up to 1024 by 768 pixels, just click on it:

Social VR Platforms by Purpose (Version 2.0) 11 May 2020

If you are looking for an up-to-date list of YARTVRA platforms, you can find it here.

Here is an explanation of some of the changes. First, you will notice that NeosVR now occupies the centre spot on this Venn diagram. Yes, the people at NeosVR have actually convinced me that their platform can actually be used for all five of the major purposes! I had forgotten that NeosVR was originally an educational platform, and it is being used by several universities, including the University of Oxford and the University of Sydney (a topic I hope to cover in more detail in a later blogpost).

NeosVR is also used for art (in particular, I remember a wonderful three-dimensional recreation of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings). And, of course, the MetaMovie project is the perfect example of a live event in VRChat (another project I need to write an update on). So, for me, NeosVR comes the closest to checking all the boxes.

I also moved Ceek from Live Music to Media Consumption, since I do not believe they actually offer any live performances, just video recorded previously (somebody correct me if I am wrong, since I am not bothering to purchase their branded VR headset, and I am not really interested in cellphone-based VR, anyway). Meh.

I have also decided that Engage can host live events as well as business conferences, so I have moved it. While I really don’t consider Engage a general purpose platform, they do fit into the other four categories.

Likewise, I have moved VRChat, since I forgot that they do have business and conferences. The recently concluded Virtual Market 4 was a prime example of that!

I think those were the only changes I made from version 1.0. As always, please feel free to let me know if you think I have grievously miscategorized any particular platform. Thanks!

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I Need Your Feedback on a First Draft of a New Infographic: Social VR Platforms Categorized by Architecture, Game Engine, and Scripting Language Used

I am working on a new infographic, but I need your help…
(image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay)

OK guys, I am working on a new infographic in my continuing quest to create a taxonomy of social VR platforms, and I want to share with you this DRAFT image.

Can anybody provide me with information on any social VR platforms not listed here, or correct any errors I have made? Thank you in advance for your help in compiling this information! I plan to write up a journal article on this and actually get it published somewhere, so I need this information to be as correct as possible.

You can contact me via any of the social VR Discords we share, via the Contact Me page on this blog, or just leave a comment on this blogpost, thanks!

UPDATED! Herding Cats, Part II: Taking a Second Step Towards Developing a Taxonomy of Metaverse Platforms by Looking at the Various Purposes of Social VR Platforms

(This blogpost is the second in a series; the first one is here.)

I thought I would set aside some time today, on a somewhat lazy Saturday, brew myself a large pot of black coffee, and attempt to categorize all the social VR platforms I have written about on this blog into some sort of taxonomy. No small feat! But at least I have a full day to tinker with the project. (I might turn this into a journal article and get it published somewhere.)

As my starting points, I used my Comprehensive List of Social VR Platforms, as well as my more detailed Comparison Chart of Sixteen Social VR Platforms (which is now a bit dated, since High Fidelity has essentially shut down, but no matter).

I decided to first try and organize the wide variety of social VR platforms by primary purpose by creating this Venn diagram using Canva.com (the following diagram is available to view and download in various sizes from Flickr, up to 1024 by 768 pixels, just click on it):

Social VR Platforms by Purpose (Version 2.1)

And, this is finally my opportunity to compile a somewhat complete list of what I collectively call the YARTVRA platforms (an acronym I coined, which stands for Yet Another Remote Teams Virtual Reality App). This is currently a hot market for social VR, as corporations struggle to try to provide immersive, remote workteams support to employees working from home during the global public health crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.

Yes, I am going to make the YARTVRA acronym a thing (WORK. WITH. ME, PEOPLE!)

UPDATE May 11th, 2020: Based on feedback I have received, and after doing a little more thinking, I have made some adjustments to version 1.0 of this Venn diagram, and I have now updated it version 2.0. Thank you to everybody who took the time to reach out to me! Summary of changes made is here.

UPDATED AGAIN 9:03 p.m. May 11th, 2020: New version! Version 2.1 (summary of changes made is here).

UPDATE May 12th, 2020: I also wanted to add to this blogpost some thoughtful comments by the Voices of VR podcaster and VR expert Kent Bye, who retweeted this blogpost to his followers on Twitter with the following comment:

Conceptually, any sufficiently robust virtual world will be able to handle multiple contexts ranging from going on a date, hanging with friends, playing games, learning, working. I see context is more driven more by the culture and people using it, more than the platform itself.

Infographic by Kent Bye

He added:

I use the lens of qualities of presence:
Active Presence: Rec Room
Mental & Social Presence: AltSpaceVR, Mozilla Hubs, Engage
Embodied Presence: VRChat
Emotional Presence: Wave, Museum of Other Realities
All of these are always happening to different degrees in social VR, but there’s combos and a center of gravity.

Four Qualities of Presence in Social VR (from a presentation slide by Kent Bye)

Thanks, Kent!

I Will Be Giving a Presentation on Social VR at the Virtual Germany Meetup in ENGAGE on April 28th, 2020

Mark your calendars! I have been invited to give a presentation to a Germany-wide VR Meetup in ENGAGE on Tuesday, April 28th, 20:00 CET (11:00 a.m. PST). The event is called Virtual Germany, and it is described as:

In cooperation with the VR communities from Berlin, Bremen, Cologne, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Leipzig and Munich, we are planning the first virtual VR and AR Meetup in Germany.

Look forward to exciting lectures on the topic of social VR and various guests from all over Germany and around the world.

One of the many people involved with Virtual Germany is the illustrious XaosPrincess, who is well-known for her work in High Fidelity, and whom I have written about before here, here, and here. She tells me:

“Virtual Germany” is organized as democratic collaboration of many German real-life Meetup groups (most of Germany’s states are represented). Our host in ENGAGE is Rolf Kruse, while the whole organization is a combined effort.

The topic of my 20-minute presentation is “Overview of the Most Important Social VR Platforms”. The talk will be in English. (I do speak German, but I do not consider myself fluent in the language.)

This will be a semi-public, RSVP event in ENGAGE, which will be advertised in each separate German VR Meetup group. Xaos tells me:

The attendees will be asked to register with the ENGAGE event to be admitted (and to give us an overview on the numbers we can expect – probably/hopefully 100+ visitors minimum). We’re still preparing the final ENGAGE event link and will post it as soon as possible 🙂

We’re going to have four rooms:
– One main room with live talks and presentations (Moon)
– Two backup rooms for additional visitors with live YouTube-Streams of the talks in the main room (Mars & Earth)
– One chill and networking room without any streams (a high rise apartment)

The talks will also be streamed live on YouTube.

If you do not have the ENGAGE software yet, you can download and install it for free here. ENGAGE works on desktop or laptop computers running Windows 10 and a wide variety of VR headsets (here’s a list of supported devices). When there is an event listing on the ENGAGE events calendar, I will update this blogpost with a link to that.

See you on April 28th! I am quite looking forward to this.