Linden Lab Partners with Music Label Monstercat to Bring Weekly Live Music Events into Sansar

VentureBeat reports that Linden Lab has partnered with Monstercat to bring weekly live music events into Sansar:

The Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience is a collaboration that the companies hope will change live concerts and gaming. The virtual world offers fans a larger-than-life venue for live events and entertainment — from concerts to meet-and-greets to exclusive fan quests and giveaways — while also allowing artists to reach a global audience with a single performance.

With Sansar, Monstercat can once again bring music directly to the people — letting anyone, anywhere feel like they have a front row seat to live shows, and making the Monstercat universe into something that fans can see, touch, and explore for themselves.

“We’re offering our fans something truly unique in the Monstercat: Call of the Wild Experience: their own space to meet, connect and share creative ideas with each other,” said Dan Scarcelli, head of programming at Monstercat. “Social VR has the power to transform how communities gather online, and we’re thrilled to be leading the charge with Sansar.”

Monstercat is a Canadian independent electronic dance music record label based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Founded in 2011 by Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen, the label releases new music four times a week. The label is perhaps best known for the 2016 release of the song Alone by the American DJ Marshmello, which reached Platinum status in the United States and Canada in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Monstercat is celebrating its 8th anniversary with a party in Sansar on July 12th:

You are officially invited to celebrate with the Monstercat crew, artists, and other fans around the world in our VR experience Friday, July 12th! Get ready for the ultimate immersive experience by visiting Sansar now and hanging out in our Monstercat Lobby. Build your character, work on your dance moves, and maybe even discover some hidden clues and teasers.

From all the question marks on this poster, it would appear that Monstercat is not going to reveal the names of some of their many musical artists performing on July 12th until the day of the event itself!

With thanks to Tony (SkarredGhost) of The Ghost Howls blog for the heads up!

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Stereowave Music Festival in Sansar April 5th and 6th

This weekend Sansar is hosting the Stereowave Music Festival, featuring numerous deejays performing at C3rb3rus’ The Beach experience:

Friday, April 5th: 12 noon to 6:00 pm. Pacific Time

  • DJ Puddles
  • JasonBeast
  • UnrealDJ & Semiina
  • Stayawayjoe

Saturday, April 6th: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time (use this link to get to the day 2 experience)

  • Granddad & Bluebell
  • DJ Puddles
  • AurrieLynne
  • DJ Bully
  • Ryzo Rin
  • DisneyHuntress
  • Mckmuze
  • Splycer
  • OlympusMons

Here’s the most recent schedule of performers for both days:

Hope to see you there!

UPDATED: What’s Holding Social VR Back?

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Image by Pexels on Pixabay

I was very recently invited to join a Facebook group called Cefima, which was started by the Norwegian Film School. The purpose of the group is to explore immersive narratives, and a recent post to this group alerted me to a great editorial blogpost by the Norwegian architect, 3D artist and VR designer Kim Baumann Larsen.

Titled Social VR—The Invisible Superpower, Kim talks about his recent experiences in TheWaveVR and Sansar, and wonders why they are not more popular:

This afternoon I spent an hour hanging out with legendary French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, and together we watched an amazing never seen before and impossible to do in real life VJ set with other fan girls and boys. It was a social VR experience in TheWaveVR and the DJ and VJ was Sutu Eats Flies, famous in his own right for his gigs on this emerging social music VR platform. You would think there would have been hundreds, if not thosuands of fans of Jarre’s music attending such an event that enabled anyone to walk up to the legend, to become virtually friends with him and to casually converse, but the instance I was in contained merely a couple of dozen of people.

Just a few days earlier in Sansar, another social VR platform, I had woken up at 4 am to catch a virtual comedy show titled Comedy Gladiators, in which comedian and YouTube sensation Steve Hofstetter brought friends and fellow comedians Maz Jobrani, Ben Gleib, Alonzo Bodden, and Mary-Lynn Rajskub into VR. There were more people at the comedy show than at the concert but not by a long stretch. While I don’t know how many instances of either shows that were running in parallel, it is obvious that whatever people are using their VR headsets for these days it is mostly not involving social VR.

With both Sansar and VRChat recently available on Steam, the latter being the by far largest platform for social VR, figures are emerging that show just how few people are in a social VR at a given moment. While Steam is not the only distribution platform for VR, there is Oculus of course and several of the apps can be launched outside of Steam and Oculus, the numbers are quite telling. On Steam this past Sunday 9 people were seen in High Fidelity, 12 in Altspace VR, 62 in Sansar, 79 in Bigscreen (Beta), 340 in RecRoom, and 8098 in VRChat.

He goes on to speculate on the reasons for this:

Ask most any one who is working in virtual reality where the future is for VR and most will say that while it is hard to speculate and give a definitive answer it will most certainly involve some kind of social VR. So why aren’t people flocking to these experiences then? The first problem is that VR gear is still rather expensive and the power of VR and of social VR in particular can’t be understood unless it is experienced first hand. The problem with that is that there aren’t many places one can experience it in public and most people doesn’t happen to have a friend or colleague with VR gear nearby.

The second problem is that we have become accustomed to asynchronous communication via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and SMS being the de facto way of communicating long distance and media-on-demand is how most people fit entertainment into their increasingly busy life. Meeting up virtually at specific days and times it seems requires too much of an effort.

And, I must admit, I myself had not thought too much about the synchronous nature of social VR and how we have as a society become more accustomed to asynchronous forms of communication like Facebook and Twitter. As for the cost, I do believe that that is only a temporary problem, as the cost of VR equipment keeps decreasing over time.

It’s an interesting take on why social VR is not attracting much attention (yet), and I would urge you to go over to Kim’s blog, KIMSARC, and read the entire post for yourself.

UPDATE Dec. 18th: Tech blogger Robert Scoble commented on a cross-posting of this blogpost to the Virtual Reality group on Facebook, raising another good reason that people don’t like social VR: the obnoxious behaviour of trolls.

I got offered a sex act within seconds of arriving in one. Most people are tired of interacting with strangers. For that reason and others.

I have blogged about this topic previously: Why Women Don’t Like Social VR. Culture and behaviour researcher Jessica Outlaw has done market research which shows that some women avoid social VR precisely because they feel vulnerable and, at times, unsafe. This is still a topic which is not really getting the attention it deserves, in my opinion.

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Image by pixel2013 on Pixabay

TheWaveVR: A Brief Introduction

 

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Well, what do you know? Quite by accident, I noticed that TheWaveVR was listed under the free apps in the Oculus Store, so I downloaded and installed the client software. Up until now, I haven’t been able to access TheWaveVR because I’m in Canada and it had been restricted to Americans only. I guess they changed that recently!

TheWaveVR is a social VR platform that is all about music. It describes itself as:

TheWaveVR is a platform for people who love music, enabling them to view, host, and socialize in shows world wide, anytime, anywhere.

We’re empowering artists and music lovers alike by transforming the way people connect through music.

Music creators can fully customize how their audience experiences the music – whether it’s by transforming the venue from a realistic nightclub to outer space with a click of a button – or putting on the most unimaginable light show ever.

Fans won’t have to travel the globe or miss out on their favorite DJs, musicians or festivals and can experience the music like never before, while socializing in totally new ways alongside their friends.

TheWaveVR is quite the trippy experience! You can visit your own personal space, which is called a cave, set up different visual effects (lasers, tentacles, etc.) and play tracks on turntables in your very own DJ booth! I also visited three different shows, each with different, creative, mesmerizing visual displays that act and react to the music and your hand controllers. I encountered quite a few other avatars as well in my travels. It was great fun! It’s very easy to learn how to navigate.

There’s a calendar of user-created parties called Waves, which you can join.

Here’s an early access launch trailer from a year ago:

Recently, TheWaveVR teamed up with The Glitch Mob to transform their third album, See Without Eyes, into a fly-through VR experience:

TheWaveVR has a website, they have an active Discord server, and they are also on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. I’ll leave you with a three-hour video of TheWaveVR in action. I think what you can do, even though it’s still in beta, is pretty impressive!