May 22nd 2022
So I have had my VR headset (index) for a few weeks now. I spent most of my time playing Half Life Alyx, then a LOT of Beatsaber. I have Vrchat but with it being a social game I of course avoided it... I have friends who have it, but I am still introverted and shy and breaking into Vrchat was stressful. Even running around day one just looking for avatars was overwhelming...
But I have been wanting to get more into it, I wanted to get into it because of my own lack of IRL socializing. So today I jumped on and hunted down some avatars for real. I wanted to upload my own but, I had to apparently up my status from “visitor” to “new user”... So I after playing some Beatsaber I decided I would just bare sitting into some public rooms for a while. I knew it was a risky thing- public rooms are a mixed bag or random people. And oh boy were they! First room, met a racist. Hit block. Another two racists. Blocked. Off to a fun to start.
Really just jumped around multiple spaces for fun until it got later and I was having some fun into one room- a nice collection of funny people who weren't too weird. Stacked pancakes on a table, listened to some guy imitate the burger king foot lettuce bit, a guy asking about people's Vrchat experiences thus far, some kid who sounded exactly like morty from rick & morty, making random dares off rolling a dice cube... it was enjoyable to just be around strangers who were all getting along and fucking around for a while even if I wasn't saying much!
Eventually one user who was there for a while sent a friend request, and I decided to accept because I heard part of upping your status means making friends? And I thought eh, I probably will add em and never talk to them again. The room we were in eventually got busier and the huge load of avatars made my game crash.... I was bummed I lost the room, but jumped back on and hopped in a few hoping maybe I would happen to join the one with the same people- and I did. Sat around for a bit with the random guy I friended but eventually bounced when some kids were being annoying about the furry avatar I had on. The stranger I friended took me to some other avatar rooms, but eventually we just started talking more. I didn't really expect to make conversation with anyone but, it happened and it was certainly nice!
In the real world I dont really get these opportunities- mostly when the backgrounds of people are totally random. Did this random person end up being 14? sure did. Cant say I expected it, but it didnt really change the fact we were just chatting either. I'm not a weirdo, im mindful, and if we're talking and things are fine? Then im not gonna jump ship on it... its neat that I can sit in a game like this and being around all kinds of people. Sure some are weird, some are fucked- thats a given.... but theres something nice about organically connecting with some stranger in an online space with thousands of people coming and going. While I keep many of my online spaces to myself and other adults, im not going out into the real world avoiding teens or something.... and I can treat Vrchat the same way too- im in “public” on these rooms, I cant just act like I know how old everyone is! Thats just not possible. Even if I never found out this person I talked to was 14, I wasn't going to be weird to them, theyre a stranger. There is a normalization on the internet that you can be fucking weird too, and its obviously not good mostly in the context of not knowing someone's age.
Anyways. Quite a night in Vrchat! I am glad it went so well after the awkward running around and silence and blocking. Now that I broke through with this I am hoping to get on with some of my closer friends too, hopefully I can build a wider circle of friends in this virtual space.