So here we are with our first real Adventures in the Metaverse column (last one was more of a tutorial on viewing the panoramas). I had a long think about which world to start with first. Then it hit me. Why start with a world when you can go with a universe?
When many think Virtual Reality, the first thing that comes to mind is the highly touted book “Ready Player One“, which is going to be adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg. In the book, there are gunters whose sole purpose in the virtual world is to seek out the fortune left behind by the creator of the metaverse. Thus the “gunter” in Gunters Universe.
Gunters Universe is a popular podcast covering VR that actually takes place in the VR Chat Metaverse. He covers various topics in VR with notable guests from the Virtual Reality industry. You can catch his podcasts in various forms and even watch prior podcasts on his YouTube page. VR Pill appeared on the last one, episode 22, where we talked about 360° videos. Stay tuned for when that hits his YouTube Channel.
If you have any problems viewing the 360° stereoscopic panoramas within, refer to our previous column that explains how to view. Also, some of these panos can be as large as 25-30MB. Please be patient as some might take longer than others to load.
Ready Player Enter the Metaverse
I attended episode 23 of Gunter’s Universe last night with guest Josh from Cubicle Ninjas, popular for their Guided Meditation Oculus Rift (and soon to be Gear VR) experience. Strapping on my Oculus Rift, I jacked in and was transported to the realm of Gunter. Rather than explain what it looked like, why don’t you come along? Let’s dive into the first 360° 3D Stereoscopic panorama. Get your VR Headset ready and take a look around.
Before the show started, we ran into a bit of trouble with a certain avatar who was too big for this universe. The giant alien creature complied with Gunter’s request and shrunk himself down to a more manageable size (yes, that is very much possible in the Metaverse). On the right side of the table is Gunter, the show’s host. Opposite of Gunter was Josh, tonight’s guest from Cubicle Ninjas.
In VR Chat you can be anyone you want to be. People have created some amazing avatars and the community would be glad to help you make one too. To the right sitting down is Dr. Eggman from Sonic. In the pano, you will also notice Deadpool and Master Chief, among others.
Oh how can I forget the highlight of every Gunters Universe, Mr. Whiskers? Mr. Whiskers is Gunter’s feline cohost. He is a highly entertaining and mischievous cat who holds many superpowers, including the banzooka, a term I just made up to describe a bazooka he possesses that can instantly eject anyone he shoots from the room. Further down we will explore some of Mr. Whisker’s other amazing abilities.
Midway into the show, Mr. Whiskers shocks the audience by transforming into a human creature, flailing about on the table. Such randomness is the beauty of this cat.
Following the show, a dead avatar was discovered on the ground. Many guests took this chance to walk all over him. How he got there, nobody knows. My bets are on the zombie.
Occasionally, rare celebrities will make an appearance in the Metaverse. The topic of motivation and Shia LaBeouf came up during the show. Surprisingly, after the show Shia himself showed up and gave a little motivational speech. VR Pill got too close to Shia to take the pano, invading his personal space, and was met with an angry growl from Mr. Whiskers. Sorry!
A normal afterparty takes place in a bar or some other mundane location. In VR Chat, we go to places like Sword Art Online! Following the show, everyone took a tour of the different worlds. One stop was Sword Art Online, made by Evolved Ant. We will leave the full world tour for when it’s complete, but for now, take a peak at the room you arrive in. It might look quite ordinary, but activating the headset on the counter transports you to a fantastic world beyond imagination.
VR Chat has had some fantastic developments lately, and one of them is the brand new Kart Racing world that has 3 fully functional Mario Kart tracks in VR (minus the weapons), made by Mr. Q and Kirito. We will revisit these areas fully in the future, but for now we have a teaser of the entrance area. Each of the portals seen in the distance will take you to a different track. Each track also has a mini model such as the one above of the complete track. Mr. Whiskers left a special present on this model.
Following the short gathering in the lobby, we entered each of the portals and raced around the tracks. The one in the panorama linked above was particularly difficult, and many didn’t make it past the first jump.
Well that’s all for this edition of Adventures in the Metaverse. Stay tuned for next time as we explore another fantastic world, and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.