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Seriously though, in all honesty what's the difference/advantage of discord over what we already have here?ASK THE EXPERT: QI have been married 10 years and we have four children aged 9, 7, 6 and 4.In just a half hour we had watched the “This Is What You Came For” music video, transported to several rooms, thrown pumpkins and disks, fought with swords, and doodled on blank easels.By virtue of us agreeing to meet in that space, we had engaged in an intimate meeting, uninterrupted by push notifications or, given the fact that my eyes were covered by goggles, anything short of a fire alarm.The company is also encouraging group activities that range from to — in one case — a live stand-up performance by Reggie Watts (who received his very own custom avatar, complete with his signature fro).Using a technology Altspace calls “Front Row,” the company is able to mirror performers’ avatars to all audience locations, allowing them to project their performance to various rooms, so the performers’ rooms don’t get overloaded and lag.More recently Altspace has made a subtle shift away from the free-for-all chat room setup.It has introduced one-on-one calls, so that you can meet in that same slick lobby with a single person, whether you want to use that space to watch a You Tube video or play air hockey.
As my VR interview with Gottheil neared an end, I sensed exactly what he and Schroepfer meant by that mutual, memorable experience.
But the inherent awkwardness of being pushed into a room with strangers wasn’t the only thing that Altspace had in common with dial-up-era chat rooms.
It soon became clear that users could be subject to the same kind of abusive behavior that has plagued the internet in unregulated social spaces for decades.
When Altspace launched last summer, it resembled a virtual reality version of its most low-tech predecessor: the AOL chat room.
Anyone with access to a few choice headsets was invited to create an avatar — of which the options were limited to a few robots and vaguely customizable human cartoons — and was dropped into a Silicon Valley–inspired common room with towering glass walls and sleek wooden floors.
The company hopes to expand the feature to include authors and other people of interest going forward.