Wow. High Fidelity is reallythrowing 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)
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).
You probably heard about DJ Marshmello‘s ten-minute concert held in the massively popular game Fortnite on Feb. 2nd. (I’ve never heard of Marshmello before this, but then again, he’s probably never heard of me either, so we’re even.)
The official YouTube video of the concert has racked up almost 20 million views as of this evening:
Here’s another YouTube video posted by a Fortnite user, which gives a somewhat different view of the proceedings, and which is probably a lot closer to what Fortnite players actually experienced in-game:
Now, there are a lot of media outlets calling this “history making“, with estimates of a total audience of over 10 million people watching. And no doubt, for the many (mostly younger) people for whom this was their first virtual concert experience, it may have seemed ground-breaking.
But as you can see from the videos I posted above, that audience of 10 million people was split up into innumerable separate instances across which the concert was broadcast simultaneously. This is hardly ground-breaking technology, and it can be said that doing this in a game world (which is heavily constrained in many ways compared to a true, open-ended virtual world like Second Life) is not really that innovative. Although I’m pretty certain that the staff maintaining the Fortnite servers was kept pretty busy!
Depending how you define it, one might argue this concert claimed a spot in the top 20 largest human gatherings ever. I wouldn’t go that far yet. But it does hint at how immersive digital gatherings might rival and surpass in-person gatherings in the future. Such digital events might regularly reach into the millions and still provide that special, real-world sense of “I was there.”
To be clear, Fortnite isn’t technically an online virtual world in the same vein as something like Second Life or High Fidelity. Fortnite is still, on the surface, a game. But several people have pointed out that it’s starting to serve the same kind of social purpose that hangout spaces like friends’ basements, skateparks, and arcades once provided teens and young adults.
People have gathered in virtual worlds for decades. People have attended virtual concerts for years. Yet the Fortnite event represented something different by many orders of magnitude. By one (unsubstantiated) estimate, 10 million concurrent users attended the show in the game’s “Showtime” mode. In other words, this was something much more than a concert. It was a peek, albeit a short one, at what an AR- and VR-suffused future looks like: connected congregations of embodied avatars, in mass-scale events that still manage to feel personal.
Social VR application Altspace has been holding live events in virtual reality since 2015; by now, the Microsoft-owned platform regularly hosts improv shows, podcast tapings, dance parties, and performances from the likes of Reggie Watts. But when its employees heard about the Fortnite concert, they saw it as a mass-scale validation. “I said, ‘This is it,'” says Katie Kelly, program owner at AltspaceVR. “It”s the biggest version of what we’ve been trying to do—in this game, with millions of people.“
So, in sheer scale, yes, the Marshmello concert was epic (pun intended; Epic Games is the maker of Fortnite). And it points the way for similar massively-attended events in future (I’m quite sure some concert promoters are already having discussions with game developers).
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!