We Met in Virtual Reality is a 90-minute feature documentary that explores the tale of five members of the VRChat community as they negotiated romance, friendships, and self-discovery in both the virtual and real worlds through their own voices. The documentary explores how social VR technology can influence our emotional and social ties.
Joe Hunting, the film’s director, spent hours in VRChat utilizing Hirabiki’s VRCLens, a cinematic-grade virtual camera, to capture genuine footage of people coping with global lockdown limitations using social VR during the height of the COVID outbreak. The film is about discovering genuine people who used VRChat to meet their social requirements, according to Hunting, who is a real-life filmmaker. He eventually came upon a group of people that actually cared about one another and wanted to give back to the technology that had brought them all together.
Though the film investigates several VRChat communities, it focuses on the lives of five individuals and how they utilize VRChat to communicate with people all around the world. In the film, each character is addressed by their avatar names — their real-world identities are never revealed.
Meet the cast
Jenny is an ASL (American Sign Language) teacher who volunteers in VRChat’s ‘Helping Hands’ community to provide a welcoming educational environment for all VR users, including hearing impaired, deaf, and hard-of-hearing.
IsYourBoi and Dragonheart met in the exotic dancing world of ‘Club Zodiac,’ where they currently work as official admins. They’re also an online pair who have never met in person.
Finally, DustBunny and Toaster are introduced. DustBunny is a virtual reality dancing instructor that specializes in VRChat. DustBunny’s long-distance companion is Toaster. They’ve met in the real world before. However, since the outbreak, the two have continued to deepen their friendship through social VR technology.
Conversations with the aforementioned subjects feel quite raw, despite the fact that they take place in virtual reality. During the film’s filming, Hunting and his crew were all present. So much so that the developer was given his own virtual birthday celebration inside VRChat.
We Met in Virtual Reality isn’t about the technology behind virtual reality. Instead, it emphasizes the human side of virtual reality. We know a lot about virtual reality, and more often than not, we are condemning it for changing human interaction forever. Though films like this make us realize that it actually isn’t all that bad.
Hunting has launched an IndieGogo campaign to help him pay for music licensing, which is still needed in order to release the film. You can also follow Hunting on his website, Twitter, and on Instagram for more updates.
In other news, read about how Mark Zuckerberg thinks VR could solve climate change and how Meta will let you build your own virtual word just by describing it.
Photo via Joe Hunting/Twitter