Major Takeaways:

  • AltspaceVR is working on a cure for digital loneliness.
  • The company has created a VR environment that allows users to communicate in the VR space via avatars, across various HMDs.
  • AltspaceVR is also creating various live events to cater to its audience, including a viewing party on Twitch, and hosting Dungeons and Dragons games.

TIME magazine discusses the platform developed by AltspaceVR in their effort to create a digital “VR lobby”.  Read more after the jump.

From the article:

AltspaceVR, a Redwood City, Calif.-based startup, is working on a cure to this digital loneliness. It’s developing a virtual reality platform in which people can connect with one another in a kind of digital lobby. Represented by humanoid avatars, AltspaceVR users can speak with one another, communicate via body language and share experiences. It works whether users are wearing the cheaper Samsung Gear VR headset, or the high-end Oculus Rift or HTC Vive Pre. And it could be a game-changer for the burgeoning virtual reality space.

AltspaceVR is now busy developing live virtual events for people to enjoy, just like the real-life bar down the street hosts karaoke nights to attract new customers. During one such gathering, AltspaceVR users met up for a viewing party on video game streaming site Twitch, a good match for the company’s tech-savvy users. AltspaceVR is also hosting tabletop Dungeons and Dragons games, complete with digital die.

In another experiment, AltspaceVR is hosting live stand-up routinesfeaturing talents from Jash, a comedy network founded by Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, and Reggie Watts. The events have the potential to show just how real virtual reality is. Perhaps more than any other performing art, stand-up comedy is something you have to see with others to fully appreciate. For the audience, that “you had to be there” element will be in effect. But will it be enough? There’s something about the guy laughing uncontrollably behind you at a comedy show that can tickle your funny bone even more than the actual joke. But the question is, can you virtually catch a case of the giggles?…

Head to TIME for the full article