The idea of having an alternate personality in the online world isn’t anything new.
Second Life, a game which let its users live in a virtual world was once very popular.
But it has declined in popularity since users now want something that is much more interactive and immersive. That’s where virtual reality comes in.
It has already been established that a VR headset can provide a level of immersion that comes quite close to matching real life.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how one can start a new virtual reality life. These have sizeable communities of people as well so you won’t get bored.
And since it has been proven that games, where people live a virtual life, are a popular idea, it’s only a matter of time before we see such experiences being designed for virtual reality as well.
In fact, if you want to live an alternate life in a virtual world through a virtual reality headset, it’s possible. There are already a few virtual worlds out there for you to become a part of.
What Are Virtual Worlds?
Virtual worlds can be best described as three-dimensional virtual worlds where you can meet different people, interact with them and own virtual things.
You can choose to have any appearance you wish in a virtual world. This appearance is what people will see, so your real identity can remain private if you want so.
The main attraction of virtual worlds is that you can choose to be anyone you wish.
You can even choose to be a woman if you’re a man, and vice versa. Some people can also want to be animals. The possibilities are endless, and that’s the whole point of a virtual world.
How To Start a New Virtual Reality Life
Linden Lab, creators of the successful virtual life game Second Life, launched a beta version of Sansar earlier in the year.
Sansar could be effectively summarised as being the VR-focused successor to Second Life because it does much of the same that Second Life did, only this time it’s in virtual reality.
The world of Sansar can be joined by anyone who owns a compatible VR headset (HTC Vive and Oculus Rift) and a PC. As soon as you have entered, developed, you can start mingling with other people or create your own virtual reality experiences and locations.
The development of Sansar has been extensive, as Linden Labs has been working on the game since 2014. Before being released to the public, it was tested by almost 2000 creators for a few months.
These people managed to create 1700 VR experiences, all of which offer something different and exciting. These experiences range from virtual museums to full-on moon landing stages.
Get this; you can walk on the moon in this game.
Users don’t have to pay anything to become a part of the Sansar community. Upon joining for free, Sansar will give you the ability to have a custom avatar and design three different VR experiences.
For those who want to create even more experiences, there’s a paid subscription costing $9.99. What’s more, creators of VR experiences can sell those experiences to other users for real money.
You don’t need to have a virtual reality headset on at all times when you’re in Sansar. If you’re tired of the VR headset, Sansar will work just fine on a regular old monitor as well.
Linden Lab has big plans for Sansar. The company has said that it is dialogue with Hollywood to produce content for the game.
Kaneva is another virtual world that you can be part of.
The focus of Kaneva is more on the interaction between different people, as compared to Sansar which looks to be more like a virtual marketplace.
This focus on interaction has seen Kaneva find immense popularity among people who want to meet new people but don’t like the idea of online dating.
When you meet new people, you can also choose to go to exciting experiences with them. These include shopping for virtual items, playing games or just relaxing.
The interaction element is paramount to everything in this game.
Seeing as interaction is so significant in this game, the developers have also put up a set of stringent rules that ensure that no harassing behaviour is tolerated.
The rules are similar to what you will find on many online forums. This makes it a very safe environment which is not likely to be used for cyberbullying.
IMVU is a very mature virtual world that was created all the way back in 2004.
It has enjoyed a stable user base when the likes of Second Life have seemed to lose steam because of the popularity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
And back in 2015 IMVU introduced a new feature that would allow users to interact with each other using virtual reality headsets. IMVU calls it “social VR.”
IMVU’s version of virtual reality isn’t precisely VR when looked at carefully, but it’s still something. An advantage of IMVU is that even though it wasn’t created for use with VR headsets, much of it is designed in such a way that it can be used with them.
The game’s focus is on creativity and interaction.
Are Virtual Worlds Safe For Children?
Seeing as anyone can join the virtual worlds listed above, an important question needs answering. And that would be whether these virtual worlds are safe to be used by children.
With easy access to computers and smartphones, children will undoubtedly find a way to join these services, whether or not they have parental consent.
As such, it is always important for parents to advise their children on the realities of online interaction.
Even though these services go to great lengths in ensuring that everyone enjoys a safe experience, it cannot be entirely guaranteed.
The only hurdle that social VR services in the past faced was the slow adoption of virtual reality headsets. But with the affordable headsets that are available now, that’s not such a big problem anymore.
What’s important now is that these worlds should be crafted in such a way that encourages positive human interaction and creativity.
These worlds don’t have to be limited to reality-based settings either.
A virtual world can be made to be as fictional as possible, and that’s sure to attract even more attention from the masses.
The services listed above are all great places to be a part of and a good way to learn how to start a new virtual reality life. They have great communities and you are sure to meet some interesting people.
Read more about How Virtual Living Can Change Life Around Us.