VRChat

02/12/22


Until recently, I was somewhere between indifferent toward and against VR. More tech creeping into life, etc. I'll talk more about what changed my mind later, but I'll say that I've still not used any contemporary VR headset.

What I want to mention is that I hopped into VRChat with my friend (who does have a headset) today and I can't understand why more people aren't talking about it. More people like me; people who grew up dreaming of immersive digital spaces; people who made all their friends and spent all their time on the internet.

Don't get me wrong--VRChat is a pretty shitty piece of software. The idea--this basic idea that's been around probably as long as telecommunications--deserves better, but this is the first experience I've had with a program that seemed willing to let people just ... do their thing? Exploring community-built worlds and seeing everyone's custom avatars made me excited about technology in a way I haven't been in ages. It felt free, loose, noncompetitive. Weird. Confusing. Sketchy. I watched a 12-foot-tall satyr with an enormous erection chase a chili pepper around a nightclub for like three minutes. Is that my vision of the future? No, but it's also not FAANG's, and that alone makes it--do I really want to say this?---valuable?

It reminds me of Neuromancer and Snow Crash in a real way; not in the cheap (and I'll have to rant about this another time), superficial Cyberpunk 2077 way.

My big tech dream is to build an open p2p VR protocol. I can't be the only one thinking about this day and night. Imagine hosting your own VR world in the same way you can host your own website today. Imagine inviting people over for a party in your custom space. No bullshit NFT artifical scarcity or expensive digital real estate on a server farm halfway across the country. Your free world running on your computer.

I've finally begun learning 3D modeling in hopes of contributing to these spaces somehow, as it's unlikely I'll ever find the time or will to learn enough to contribute to the protocol programming itself. I should've learned this when I was first thinking about it almost 20 years ago, but better late than never. I'll post some shitty sketches on here as I make progress.