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community through VR
Photo by Jordon Conner on Unsplash and Jazna Rossi on Pixabay, composite by Christopher Hooker

Before the advent of the Internet, virtual reality was often seen as a rather lonely experience. One person in a room, with their connection to other cut off by a large headset. The virtual reality participant becomes a pioneer, entering a world that is completely illusory, or based on theory, interacting with things that have no real-world equivalent.

The loneliness of virtual reality is actually a misconception that the technology itself has fought against since it first began. When VR was first sold to people in malls and shopping centers, it was usually sold twice: first to the participant entering a game to play, and then to an interested audience who watched the participant’s adventures on a large screen. Already, it had a kind of communal function, for the player and the watcher. 

This was long before the Internet was a real event and people could conceive of sharing experiences in a virtual world, together, in real time. Now, it’s an everyday reality. Gamers interact in shared gaming experiences on a daily basis. Augmented reality, such as Pokemon GO! has been allowing us to share virtual worlds within our actual reality.

With so many virtual reality headsets on the market now, the same kind of communities that form around simple scrollers, complicated massively multiplayer online (MMO) games and resource/survival games such as Minecraft and Rust also are forming. We’ve yet to say a large push in VR sets that indicates that players are flocking to a particular game, but it’s just a matter of time until that happens. 

That first “killer app” will bring players flooding into virtual worlds they can share and interact in has yet to come. There have been some best sellers, but nothing to cause the kind of sensation that will bring players to the format in the kind of numbers we’ve seen with other technologies and console systems. 

It’s intriguing the way communities form in the 21st century through love of common interests. What will it mean to kids in three or four years from now when they meet up to play games from the privacy of their own homes, safe from external dangers of pandemic? For the moment, just like our countless competitors, we’re contemplating what kind of killer app we can invent here at Holon to bring people together as a community.

If you’re interested in joining us on the quest, take a look at the latest news on our very first VR shooter game, CINDERS OF HADES, which is soon to be released!