Well that was unexpected, cool, hilarious fun! BRCvr, or Black Rock City Virtual Reality brought the Multiverse to the world in the last week of August, after Burning Man was understandably cancelled due to Covid-19, like most large events this year.
What an amazing new experience being in a VR space, creating your avatar, then walking around the Playa, flying around above it for a bird’s eye view, or creating a portal to jump to an event or space in another (world) part of the city. The joy of wandering around the Playa and stumbling upon cool things, just like you would at Burning Man, randomly bumping into friends from around the world unexpectedly, and chatting to people who tell you about other oddities you haven’t yet discovered, reminding you that even in VR you cannot see everything at the Burn.
We discovered hundreds of incredible spaces created by incredibly talented people, live streams from DJs, workshops, talks, art, and eventually found the event guide which opened up many more possibilities! It was crazy just how much like Burning Man it felt, with the randomness, the human connection, and the lively expressions on floating torsos perfectly emulating the very real excitement behind them. That we can have that feeling when we are all in different cities, countries, suburbs or houses was the biggest surprise of all, especially when hanging out with good friends in the VR space.
Special mentions from our time in BRCvr go to:
- Samskara, where you could pull up a soft cushion and take a seat to watch trippy visuals projected all around you, perfectly timed to the tribal beats.
- A Camp of Fire and Ice, where the snowball fights quickly turned into lobbing cars and buses at each other.
- Faithful recreations of past Temples, and Man bases, bringing teary-eyed nostalgia.
- The live Diplo set at PlayAlchemy – everybody put your hands up!
One unexpected joy was meeting people who were there for the tech (rather than as Burners), who were completely blown away by the worlds of the Multiverse and the people who inhabited them, in what they said was AltSpace’s biggest ever event. Now they’ve had an introduction to the Burn world, many expressed an interest in attending next year’s real-life Burn events too!
The experience also served as a reminder of just how darn clever and full of talent our global community is, and how generous, funny and kind. We were treated to incredible contributions of online worlds to help create magic and bring people together in celebration. So surreal. #thankslarry
If you missed the experience and want to check it out, or if you want a return visit, some of the worlds will be staying online at AltspaceVR, with some being improved, upgraded and expanded. So read the information and download the app. If you have access to a VR headset, use it! It will be incredible, though it is still fabulous without one. And not all spaces you’ll visit are optimised for a Mac yet.
Read here what a Burning Man veteran had to say about his experience, and here as The New York Times asks if there can be playa magic without a playa (Yes, there can!). And of course, some people actually got to see Daft Punk at the Trash Fence.
By Shelley and Brad from the Communications Team
Image credit: LEILA AMIRSADEGHI