1. Chemy JMHT's Avatar


    2016 is the year that virtual reality gaming really got traction, despite lower than expected sales of the various headsets. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR all made great strides in the VR sphere this year, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, a major proponent of emerging immersive gaming technologies, likens this year to the first year of the personal computer over thirty years ago. But, while the technology is making strides, Sweeney warns that the games themselves are not doing enough to connect users within game spaces. According to Sweeney, VR game developers will have to tackle the issue of “anti-social” gaming in the near future, tasked with encouraging positive interactions and stymying toxic behaviour.

    “Right now, VR games are for the most part a solitary experience,” Sweeney told The Verge. “It seems almost anti-social. But the next step with the VR hardware is to have cameras pointing in toward your face and out to pick up your body motion, and picking up all of your facial and body motion and being able to replicate it in real time over the internet to other VR users.”

    “And so I think in a few years we’re going to see a very rapid emergence of social VR experiences that are incredibly compelling, that enable you to get together with friends and do things that are completely impossible in the real world,” he added. “I think it’s going to change really rapidly over time, and we can’t really predict all of the ramifications of it, but I think it’s going to be a much more positive social experience than a multiplayer game today, where you can’t really convey your emotions.”

    Sweeney believes that the solution to anti-social behaviour in VR gaming is the creation of realistically expressive avatars that are able to convey emotions in response to the behaviour of others.

    “Once your VR avatar really looks like you, and people can see you, and you can see them and their faces and emotions, I think all of the normal restraining mechanisms will kick in,” Sweeney explains. “If you insult somebody and you see that they have a sad look on their face, then you’re going to feel really, really bad about that. And you’re probably not going to do it again.”

    “And so I think VR might be something that’s humanizing, as opposed to forums and multiplayer games today being dehumanizing,” Sweeney said. “But I think we also have to consider that with VR, the experiences may be so intimate that you will choose instead of playing with random strangers on the internet to only play with people you know.”

    Epic Games is currently developing its first VR game, the arcade shooter Robo Recall.

    Source: Epic Games CEO: VR is Anti-Social Right Now | eTeknix
    12-30-2016 01:02 AM
  2. pjs37's Avatar
    Interesting. Though I don't know if I want an avatar that looks exactly like me I like the idea of facial expressions. I agree we need more social interaction, but given how people socially generally interact on the internet I am not in any rush to deal with that in an avatar virtual world. I am almost surprised Second Life hasn't tried to do something in the VR realm. They already have the social side down.
    12-30-2016 07:19 AM
  3. pkcable's Avatar
    The Daydream has an interesting game called Everybody keep talking nobody explodes that has an unusual take on this problem. It allows one person to control the VR while the others play along from the outside and interact verbally and "help" the person defuse the bomb.
    12-30-2016 01:58 PM
  4. Talkivr's Avatar
    Will be interesting to see any really innovative social vr, I could see something like second life for vr. Guess they expect social enviroment for vr to really pickup and become more interactive with other users.
    12-30-2016 03:38 PM
  5. Hurried Sense's Avatar
    Excited! I hope his predictions about a social space in VR come true.
    12-30-2016 06:02 PM
  6. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    I am thinking maybe the VR social networks will be around just for a few moments until the actual social networks turns to AR.
    12-30-2016 08:13 PM
  7. pjs37's Avatar
    Excited! I hope his predictions about a social space in VR come true.
    Well lets just say Facebook didn't buy Oculus because they thought it was cool. I bet they saw something there related to their main business.
    GustavMahler likes this.
    12-30-2016 08:23 PM
  8. Klortch's Avatar
    Interesting article. Personally I don't think VR gaming (my experience is limited to PSVR) is any more anti-social than regular gaming. In my opinion it's actually more social in that I can share VR experiences and games with with people in real life in a way I can't with a lot of console or PC games. Seeing people react to their first experience with VR is a big part of that. Before we get to the "see my facial expression on the VR version of me" level I hope VR gaming can mature to a point where mutiplayer VR gaming is meaningful and enables a real sense of shared gaming world experiences.

    The Daydream has an interesting game called Everybody keep talking nobody explodes that has an unusual take on this problem. It allows one person to control the VR while the others play along from the outside and interact verbally and "help" the person defuse the bomb.
    This is the first thing I thought of as well. It's on PSVR now but I haven't bought it yet. The communication aspect of this game sounds very interesting.
    12-31-2016 09:27 PM
  9. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    Well not only the fact that right now at least for me VR is something to share, I rarely use it if I'm alone, but I gather with friends and family to share and watch how they perform or their reactions.

    Maybe the VR experience while you are wearing the HMD is more individual but the whole movement isn't.
    01-01-2017 05:53 PM
  10. GustavMahler's Avatar
    Well lets just say Facebook didn't buy Oculus because they thought it was cool. I bet they saw something there related to their main business.
    That is more than clear that Facebook will be using the Rift for social media interactions and similar features.
    I am sure that the way facebook is, is going to be drastically changed now, no doubt about that.
    Just see the video of Mark Zuckerberg talking about the potential of VR and interactions with people.
    pkcable likes this.
    01-01-2017 10:32 PM
  11. pjs37's Avatar
    Yeah we will see something from Facebook this year I am sure. Personally I am hoping for a virtual meet-up world but it will probably be a facebook app :-p
    01-02-2017 07:23 PM
  12. GustavMahler's Avatar
    This point actually makes me want to get a Rift-
    Sure, it will have its privacy problems, but interacting with other people in VR seems to me like something amazing.
    If I am not mistaken, there are not any good multiplayer games made for VR at the moment, am I right?
    01-03-2017 12:56 AM
  13. pjs37's Avatar
    I don't know I think Hover Junkers is a lot of fun actually and that is a Multiplayer game. Works with the Touch controllers.

    As for the privacy issue that is a personal issue more than anything. The Rift is inherently no more invasive privacy wise then a Vive. Despite being owned by Facebook it uses its own separate log in with its own separate privacy policy (https://www.oculus.com/legal/privacy-policy/)
    01-03-2017 07:54 AM
  14. krisguy's Avatar
    Hover Junkers and KTaNE are different takes on games that try to add more social, but the best right now is Altspace for social interaction, or streaming yourself on Beam, Twitch, YT, or Hitbox for interactive audiences.

    Social VR will get solved, but it will take time to come up with organic solutions that work.
    Chemy JMHT likes this.
    01-03-2017 09:05 AM
  15. AxlMyk's Avatar
    How would social VR work if everyone is wearing a viewer?
    You would be looking at a bunch of blob faces.
    01-03-2017 01:30 PM
  16. GustavMahler's Avatar
    I think that the Vive could be very well utilized for social VR. I am not sure about it, but it seems like it could represent your body and your movements and implementing it in the app, showing it very accurately to the other users you interact with. It seems like we already have the capacity to make pretty good social apps.
    01-03-2017 03:05 PM
  17. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    OK, just my guess, when you are browsing any Social Network you are not with a bunch of people, you are by your own in your computer or smartphone, so teh Social VR won't be something to gather the family and friends to share in the same physical and real space but to do it as sharing something in Facebook, in a virtual world, so it's a way to virtually interconnect with others.
    01-03-2017 06:32 PM
  18. GustavMahler's Avatar
    I guess you are right, but it makes sense that there will be some possibilities to sharing the same virtual space in the future (it is pretty clear to me from what Zuckerberg said when he talked about the potential of VR for the future). We may not see it in the next couple of years, but as body 3d replication will become doable we will certainly start to see that getting popular IMO
    01-04-2017 06:37 AM
  19. pjs37's Avatar
    I guess you are right, but it makes sense that there will be some possibilities to sharing the same virtual space in the future (it is pretty clear to me from what Zuckerberg said when he talked about the potential of VR for the future). We may not see it in the next couple of years, but as body 3d replication will become doable we will certainly start to see that getting popular IMO
    The scanners are there I see them at conventions, they scan people and then make little figurines of them usually zombied up.
    01-04-2017 07:55 AM
  20. GustavMahler's Avatar
    Yeah, I have already seen a video on youtube demonstrating that. I am really waiting for the app that will implement that feature well, that could be incredible! You could meet like in person people from far away and visit your grandma who lives in a far away country.
    Pretty soon we will not even need to fly!
    01-04-2017 04:36 PM
  21. pkcable's Avatar
    Well we DO have Altspace and that new one v-Time!
    01-06-2017 01:11 PM
  22. Chemy JMHT's Avatar
    EVen wearing the HMD and being at home then some AR will do the job, like right now sci-fi is always doing in the future meeting, you have a table and everybody is sitting there but are just projections, right now we do something similar but while wearing the HMD.
    01-08-2017 08:38 PM

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