Virtua Chat

So I got a VR headset (thanks @Mokushka ) and unsurprisingly, the thing that draws me to it the most is just vibing in virtual worlds. And while I wasn’t entirely sure if VR chat would be for me because of the community, I’ve discovered that community or no, I could just explore cool spaces.

So after trying stuff out, I got set up with a customized avatar


(that’s the outfit she came with, the colors and basic shape were kinda up to me though. She’s still a bit of a WIP but she’s good enough. A lot of the following screens were taken before I got her so they have a freebie avatar instead)

And over the last week or two I’ve been doing a lot of exploring:



A lot of this game is ripped and uploaded assets from older video games. Do I care about kingdom hearts? Not really. Was I wowed by being in a kingdom hearts town? Despite myself, I was


I found a cozy rainy cabin in the PNW place that had a working polaroid camera, complete with developing film




Wandered through a stunningly gorgeous world from a previous’s years VR furry convention (Furality, I missed it by a freaking day last month)


Poked around a goddamn Space Station


This place was pretty non-interactive and was seemingly made with extremely off the shelf lo-fi assests but they built a whole JRPG style town you can walk around which is cool in it’s own way


And of course a camper on an infinite rainy highway driven eternally by some kind of anime dominatrix

And I haven’t even touched the like, actual game stuff people have made. If anyone wants to joing my virtual adventures, please hit me up in this thread and we can see how many anime dominatrixes driving retro motor vehicles there actually are.

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I will join you soon

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I have been doing VR Chat for a hot minute, I think nearly 2 years now. I should get better hardware and a custom avatar.

But yeah I fell in with a group of friends who do weekly meetups, and sometimes intersecting with other friend groups who meet on vr chat.

One very impressive thing was this Avatar, which is the tram from Half Life 1, and when activated it plays through the entire start sequence.

Another creator / group has an entire version of JSRF, complete with music, movement mechanics, and a mission campaign. It is incredible to just be in Neo Tokyo

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Ive been thinking about trying VRChat for a while. I don’t have a headset but the hangoutitude of it is v appealing.

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You can play it without one. So if you wanted to just hang with an SB group exploring you could give it a shot.

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Yeah, I need to take the plunge at some point. Nervous about meeting people here ‘in-person’ for the first time but does sound fun.

How do avatars work without the headset? Do you just look like someone running around in Gmod?

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Learning that desktop mode was a thing and that you can just privately run around increased my interest in VRchat immensely for this reason.

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I think mainly you just have less arm movement by default? Supposedly it’s pretty common even in like, the underground digital rave scene.

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Related: VR chat has a DJ club scene where if you get into particular discords you’re invited to private DJ events where people play music live like at an actual dance club but, y’know, virtual. This kinda thing existed in second life too but like a lot of stuff the modern internet first found out about it with VR chat and thinks it’s new.

Nevertheless, it seems hypothetically cool but I’ve got know idea how someone even starts to break into that!

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Here’s another crop of stuff I was exploring yesterday:





This was ‘Japan Street Quest’. It’s just a lo-fi, but massive, map of a japanese city. I think it was actually made by japanese folks because there was a lot of kanji in the description and bluntly, it didn’t seem that weeby compared to a lot of the Japan stuff I’ve been to.


Speaking of japan, though, this slice of an Akihabara back alley was so accurate @rudie knew where it was IRL




I’m obsessed with the concept of ‘infinite rides in low-key mundane places’. So many worlds I’ve run across are extremely chill, and specifically about capturing a vibe. Like I’ve never seen a user created virtual world with as many intentionally liminal spaces as VR chat. Secondlife, everything is supposed to be a bustling hub of community, but every world is eerily empty. In VR chat stuff either feels cozy or intentionally creepy. It’s a weird mix.



This is really cool. Again, Second Life was supposed to have stuff like this? Educational worlds where you could learn this (ask me about the Philosophy Garden in Second Life sometime), but it never really delivered. This uses real 3d scans of objects complete with audio guided tour if you want it (grab your headphones at the start).


…it’s real

Vr chat is also great for answering the question “What if a silicon graphics workstation was just a place you could go”

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One thing thats really fun in VR Chat is…movies! There’s worlds with a bunch of pirated moves in them and you can watch them with friends, and oddly it’s almost exactly like watching a real movie with friends.

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yeah i am getting more interested in this as a virtual hangspace for movies, music etc. now that i know the non-vr-pilled among us can join

i got an avatar that i really, really like as a joke but i can’t tell anyone about it because it’ll ruin the joke

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i’ve literally just been looking for avatars, just wanna be able to put on a puppet show where i’m the puppet, apparently

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hung out with @AutomaticTiger (she’s not hatsune miku) in VR Chat, game rules. I’m obsessed. Still searching for an avatar.

Also found some other stuff on my own in my search for an avatar

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I’ve encountered a person in VR chat who was showing me around who enthusiastically told me I could “watch the new minion movie” in a movie watching world and did not react when I said “Oh cool, they have both crimes of the future movies”

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I commissioned a custom VRChat avatar over a year ago (or well, a friend put a down-payment on one as a gift for me). And I have still yet to receive it. Supposedly it is nearly done coincidentally. I’ve been kind of discouraged from checking out VRChat as much as I’d like since there aren’t any good free African Wild Dog avatars.

The other issue is I get sick as a dog from VRChat. Pun intended. I’m semi-considering ponying up for the Quest 2 and hoping that the increase in tech quality will reduce how bad my motion sickness is. But I’m kind of anxious about plunking down 300 bucks on an uncertainty.

But I wanna chill in virtual furry land so bad.

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Cute avatar btw

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Pictures from my half of hanging at the b

Here’s my half of the photos from hanging with @VastleCania at the ballpit world






Ok so this one is weird. Despite having some of the coolest looking things I’ve ever seen in a video game, I don’t have many screenshots because they just…didn’t come out in photos. This place was called ShaderFes 2021, and it’s basically a demoscene exposition of shader tech in VR chat?

It’s really hard to convey what looking at an infinite immersive 3d fractal looks like. Just seeing stuff go out to infinity. Seeing pixelated onbects that your brain reads as actual reality. Looking at stuff like Holofoil Cards that are more comprehensible, but like nothing I’ve ever seen in an actual video game before.

3d objects that extend infinitely in every direction…trippy landscapes that shift on a button press. Like…it’s really something else in motion, and in virtual reality is like nothing I have ever seen. Maybe ever?

Anyway if you log in, maybe check out ShaderFES 2021? It’s really, really, really worth your time. I dragged @VastleCania ere and I’ll drag you there if you’re ever hanging in VR if you want

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I haven’t posted in a while but I have been VR Chatting the whole time! It’s been interesting because I don’t use it every day, but I’ve been pretty regularly going on expeditions (We should do an SB one!)

Some of my adventures include:





@hellojed introduced me to the museum of video game cars, which has a lot of SB faves throughout, it was neat to seem them all together and hear the music from games with them





One fascinating feature of VR chat is how THE MALL is a recurrant image. While there’s obviously a nostolgic aspect for this, the function of a mall is often seen as that of a ‘third place’ a social gathering space between home and work, VR chat is very much a ditital third place, and now extinct third places seem to be some of the most common subjects of worlds. Like for example


The motherfucking virtual Kmart complete with photo background and food court. I have seemingly only captured screenshots of the food court and several pictures of me and @VastleCania as Tronne Bonne. We got this avatar at Virtual Kmart itself






I took a lot of photos of this one. Of course, when we talk malls, the dreaded specter of Vaporwave isn’t far behind. That said, there is something oddly pleasant about the pure, unironic application of the form. And like many things, an old hat aesthetic feels fresher when the silver floating OrBs are actually 3d objects in front of you. There was an interesting narrative metaphor here:




…the mall is made up of multiple VRChat ‘worlds’ that are interlinked. There is only one place that you can access all these from within the mall, and it’s a version of one of the ‘worlds’ that is all run down and abandoned. Within it, you can go to the active areas, and see seasonal reskins of the mall, implying this entire world is nothing but a memory.

Retroactively making the already kinda creepy empty mall even creepier

…so after all that I got some wafflehouse



The multiplicity of VRChat

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the thing that keeps weirding me out about VR Chat is how totally unironic most of it is. Just, here’s a K-Mart. Here’s a mall. Here’s a Waffle House.

I can’t tell how I feel about it.

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