VRChat Pick of the Day: Virtual Market 2

If you’re looking for something to do in the metaverse this weekend, why not visit a Japanese anime convention in VRChat?

The Virtual Market 2 convention is running all weekend. According to their website:

Virtual Market is a virtual convention held in the virtual reality platform, VRChat. In it, attendees are able to browse virtual goods and contents such as 3D models and props, try on virtual avatars and purchase any content that catches their fancy through an external website. It is our vision to enrich and to push the boundaries of the Virtual Reality experience.

The venue consists of six separate worlds, each of which has many booths from various vendors selling avatars and accessories. In my visit on Saturday, I managed to visit three of them, and I was very impressed by what I saw.

Here’s a couple of pictures I took using the in-world camera:

Here’s a link to their launch page (it’s in Japanese, but you should be able to figure it out with Chrome’s automatic translation option).

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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!

VRChat Pick of the Day: Treehouse in the Shade

I wanted to share with you a wonderful world I have visited a couple of times on my recent forays into VRChat with people from the RyanSchultz.com Discord server.

Treehouse in the Shade is a world created by 1001 and SCRN, which demonstrates the power of shaders in Unity (which is the game engine on which VRChat is built). Shaders are scripts containing mathematical calculations and algorithms, which are specifically made to run on the GPU (graphics processing unit) of your computer. These programs draw the triangles of your three-dimensional models in-world.

The world is very simple. It consists of a treehouse in the middle of what appears to be a waving sea of grass. Climb the stairs and you will find a roaring fireplace (?!) and a large control panel, which allows you to select from dozens of shaders, which are then displayed all around the treehouse. Here are just five examples:

VRChat_1920x1080_2019-01-07_10-53-54.452VRChat_1920x1080_2019-01-07_10-54-48.903VRChat_1920x1080_2019-01-07_10-55-23.519VRChat_1920x1080_2019-01-07_10-56-29.254VRChat_1920x1080_2019-01-07_10-57-49.245

Still photographs do not do this world justice; you really do need to visit this place and browse through all the shaders! There’s something to please and awe just about everyone. It works best if you come with friends, and have one friend control the shaders from the treehouse, while the others wander around on the ground level outside to get the most immersive view.

A fan has posted a 13-minute YouTube video of an earlier iteration of Treehouse in the Shade, which gives you a much better look at the project and how it works. There’s also a jetpack you can rez and sit on to zoom around this world, which can be great fun!

Here’s a link to Treehouse in the Shade (this jump page will only work if VRChat has been run at least once on your computer). You can also search for “Treehouse” by clicking on the Search button on the VRChat user interface.

Note: This blogpost has been cross-posted to the VRChat Events Discord server, which is the best place to find out what’s going on in VRChat. (You can join using the link posted above.)

Happy New Year! Where to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Social VR

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I will be celebrating New Year’s Eve offline, with real-life friends here in Winnipeg. It looks like we’re going to have a cold night! 😉

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Meanwhile, in Winnipeg…

If you are looking to spend New Year’s Eve online, here are a few options on the various social VR platforms:

Sansar

Eliot (Linden Lab’s Community Manager for Sansar) will be hosting three New Year’s Eve events in Sansar in different timezones:

High Fidelity

High Fidelity will be hosting a round-the-clock event at The Spot from Monday, Dec. 31st 2:00 a.m. to Tuesday, Jan. 1st 4:00 a.m. (Pacific Time).

Sinespace

As part of its Winter Festival, Sinespace is hosting a New Year’s Eve party. Check the login page of your Sinespace client for more details.

VRChat

The best place to find out what New Year’s Eve parties are happening where in VRChat is, as always, the VRChat Events Discord server. Apparently, there’s a round-the-clock party happening at Void, according to AgentM83:

They’re partying in every time zone all day long (started this morning).


However you choose to ring in the new year—online or offline, alone or with friends, awake or asleep!—may 2019 bring you happiness, peace, and prosperity.