The popular VR social platform will serve as home to this years festivities amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The VR Awards has been recognizing and celebrating outstanding achievements in the VR industry since 2017. Companies such as Fable, HTC, and Oculus have each walked away as winners for their groundbreaking hardware, alongside genre-defying titles such as War Remains, Tilt Brush and ImmersiCare.
With Covid-19 continuing to disrupt public gatherings including festivals, conferences, and celebrations across the globe, The Academy of International Extended Reality (AIXR), hosts of the annual VR Awards, has announced an exciting new partnership that will bring the swanky black tie celebration into VR through socialVR platform VRChat, ensuring safety for all who attend.
VRChat offers over 50,000 different community created worlds in which to explore and meet new people. A gargantuan selection of user-created avatars and environments, allowing players to immerse themselves in brand new scenarios as entirely different people. Think of it as cosplay in VR. Since its release back in 2017 the game has attracted a sizable community of players thanks in large part to its $0.00 price tag and easy accessibility. VRChat can be accessed on all PC VR headsets, the Oculus Quest, and in standard 2D via a computer; therefore it makes sense AIXR would choose this social platform to host their live event.
Most of the details of the upcoming 2020 VR Awards are still being kept under wraps, however AIXR has stated that they have already partnered with talented VRChat creators in preparation for the October event for everything from worldbuilding and avatar creation to 3D animation and modelling.
As a matter of fact, the Academy is still looking for talented community Unity creators to work with. If chosen, you will have the opportunity to leave your own personal stamp on VR history through this momentous event.
Those interested can apply here.
Though this marks the first time the VR Awards would be hosted in VR, this is definitely not the first live event ever to be conducted in a virtual environment. HTC recently hosted the first-ever VR industry conference on socialVR platform Engage back in March that really showcased how VR will transform the future of conferences. We are also seeing smaller community created events being organized in spaces such as AltSpaceVR, Mozilla Hubs, Rec Room, and Spatial.
One of the advantages of hosting an event in VR is the ability to enhance your digital venue in ways that would be impossible to replicate in real life. Organizers can literally shape the world around them to fit the theme of their event, whether it be a terrifying graveyard cinema for a monster movie marathon or a futuristic city for a cyberpunk-themed meet-up. You can even plant easter eggs throughout your virtual venue for more of a personal touch – something HTC’s Alvin Graylin did during a recent HTC VR event.
If you’re not a skilled Unity creator, you can absolutely just jump into a world that’s already been built and lose yourself along with other users around the planet.
Past VR Awards have been held at Central London’s prestigious 8 Northumberland Avenue, which required travel time and money, making it extremely difficult for many to attend. Moving the ceremony into VRChat eliminates the issues of travel and budget, and because you use a VR headset or desktop/PC, attending the VR Awards will be as easy as logging into your VRChat account.
In an official press release, Daniel Colaianni, Chief Executive at AIXR, said, “Our primary goal for this VR Awards was to create the most impressive VR event experience to date,” adding, “We are proud to be joined on this journey by our industry partners as well as talented creators and VR fans from across the world.
Once again I will be joining this year’s panel as an official VR Awards judge and will assist in the nomination of submitted content.
Image Credit: AIXR / ASpoonsTV via Reddit