VR Chat players aid seizure victim, shame trolls

    
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Last year, we wrote about the extreme potential for griefing in virtual reality spaces as it’s one of MMORPG developer Raph Koster’s favorite talking points. “People who think ‘anonymity’ is ‘more authentic’ forget that we are social creatures; we are less human when masked and isolate,” he wrote last year in response to the rather idealistic outlooks on human nature pushed by start-up VR companies.

But of course, that’s not to say that nobody behaves well in virtual spaces. To wit: Kotaku has a piece out today on an incident that took place in VR Chat, an extremely popular virtual world akin to Second Life. A group of its players apparently put down their memes to help out a fellow human who appeared to have collapsed with a seizure. In the video provided by YouTuber Rogue Shadow VR, VR gamers broke character to offer medical advice and shame a handful of griefers in diapers and meme costumes.

The player, DrunkenUnicyclist, later confirmed to Kotaku that he wasn’t epileptic but had had a seizure once before as a child. “It was comforting to know somebody was there after it was all said and done,” he told the publication. “It’s really amazing that people can come together like that over somebody who’s in distress. In a world where nobody even knows each other, really.”

We’ve also previously written about academic research on motion sickness in VR – also worth a look if you’re curious how VR, or rather, the point-of-view in some poorly designed VR games, can cause dramatic illness.

Source: Kotaku, Steam
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Mewmew
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Mewmew

If you think this experience is mostly adult males in little girl avatars pole dancing and getting their avatars to make out and fondle each other – you’d be right on the money.

It’s just horrible… It’s exactly what you’d expect, but it’s still horrible.

I feel like I need a bath just having watched some of the videos.

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Melissa McDonald

Yet the screenshot shows nothing of the kind. I see a leprechaun, Hank Hill, a skelly, some kinda mardi gras version of Slender Man, but not what you are describing.

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Melissa McDonald

on their official web page:

Capture1.JPG
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Bruno Brito

What the…

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Melissa McDonald

I believe that’s called having a sense of humour :)

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rafael12104

Anybody else think Koster gets too much cred? Just saying.

Andrew Ross
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Andrew Ross

Nope. In fact, just watching this reminded me of just how on the money he is. Notice that no one in the video thinks to contact a GM. Are there GMs? Is there an interface people can use to get help? Because there should have been.

Had this been World of Warcraft, Rift, Star Wars: The Old Republic, TERA, FFXIV, etc., people would have sent in a GM ticket, fast. I say this as someone who’s had to contact GMs for players who were threatening RL suicide, and the reaction time was quite quick (at least for World of Warcraft).

Koster brought up that many VR/AR companies don’t take responsibility for their communities at GDC a year or so ago. He’d talked to a high ranked individual about it and the ethics behind the idea that they should have some kind of support system in place wasn’t even on that person’s radar.

I may not always agree with Raph, but if anything, I feel like he doesn’t get enough credit, especially in terms of community.

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rafael12104

Hmm. Well, the lack of GMs, is that specific to VR? Is that part of the issue Kostner was talking about with “extreme” potential for griefing?

Nope. The fact is that in game GMs are becoming less of a norm and more of an exception. GMs are now spending most of their time outside of the game as they can solve many more problems there. Of your list, I can tell you that maybe 2 of those games would have dispatched a GM.

Koster brought up that VR/AR companies don’t take responsibility for their communities. Heh. I would argue that many AAA MMOs don’t either. F2P? Lol! Not even a little bit.

You may appreciate Koster for what he has done in the past, but I certainly don’t view him as an oracle of the future.

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Grave Knight

There is something really surreal about this.

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Doubleplusgood

Watching the youtube video of the VR live stream incident , my first time watching one, I…I dunno what to even say. This is the future?

Mewmew
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Mewmew

Thankfully – NO. VR hasn’t taken off in the way they’ve been hoping it would. Most people still like to interact with or at least get to see the rest of the world around them while gaming and don’t want to be locked in to just seeing that one activity.

This specific type of thing where it’s mostly mobs of male perverts dressed in little girl avatars molesting each other is definitely not the future for most of us I’d say, thankfully.

I’m not at all surprised and yet I’m still revolted and turned off and away from this big time.

I feel that a number of restrictions on that freedom are going to need to be put in place before this kind of thing can go that mainstream. Give them too much and this is what they do with it.

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NeoWolf

For the first time in my life I watched a VRChat stream yesterday, I picked one at random which turned out to be a female streamer. It was a strange and equal part amusing/disturbing experience.

What I saw was half a dozen people with yoda as an avatar all speaking in the yoda voice all hitting on one female player who had a female anime avatar… oh and one tiny tiny shrek character who was mostly just quite funny.

It was perhaps the strangest 20 minutes of a stream I’ve ever seen. VR chat seems to lack any sort of moderation or porotection for people in terms of harrassment or inappropriate behaviour from what I saw and from the voices I hear there are everything from little kids to adults indulging in the same innapropriate pervy montage together.. it was at times funny but mostly just creepy as hell.

I can safely say though if I were a parent I’d be all HELL no to my kids touching VRChat without supervision. I’m sure there are likely good spots in it, but also like what I saw some exceptionally creepy ones.

There also does not seem to be much of a filter on user names for VRChat avatars as I saw a number of VERY inappropriately named avatars.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I just watched some streams of this VRChat as well and also for the first time. It was a horrific thing to see. Tons of dudes in little girl avatars making out and pole dancing and stuff while the occasional actual girl just gets mobs of morons following her around trying to molest her avatar and being super perverted – all the while accusing those few girls of being guys who either have amazing voice changing software from the future or who are able to perfectly sound 100% female. It’s basically what you’d expect, even though you’d hope it was going to be something different and better.

It reminds me of my first experiences in live console chat when I was younger sadly, the natural progression of that horrible experience to this one.

What a sad use of this technology.

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Armsbend

I wonder if the seizure was caused by the game/glasses.

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Grave Knight

Probably. Normal games can cause seizures without bugging out. VRChat looks cool but I’ve seen that game bug out in different ways, in one case everyone was stuck together, if one person moved everyone would move, it eventually fixed itself but it was a pretty weird bug. Also, VR gives people who don’t have any problems with light or vision headaches.

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Armsbend

I don’t think I really want to mess with my eyes and brain like that. Games are fun and all…but not that fun.

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Grave Knight

It’s not as bad as I’m making it sound. Usually it takes half an hour before you experience any symptoms, and really it’s like putting on non-prescription glasses. Your eyes aren’t adapted to it so it causes strain on them. That being said it’s probably possible to adapt to it. Though hopefully in the future there will be more practical solutions, like better headsets that don’t cause eye strain.

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Melissa McDonald

Never had any problems with it and logged hundreds of hours in VR space. Sure, some people may have issues with it, but please don’t say it’s always a problem.

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Schmidt.Capela

Back when I worked with VR I had a colleague that would become dizzy within a minute or two if she tried to use the VR gear; some of the engineers I worked with refused to use the HMD because they would also get queasy after a while. Meanwhile other people — myself included — could use the gear for as long as required without ill effects.

VR affects different people differently.

Worth noting, though, that as far as I could observe the HMD merely amplified something that was already there; the issues it “causes” don’t come out of thin air. The girl who wasn’t able to use the HMD, as well as some of the engineers, also had issues with fast sequences on our cinema-sized screen.