At GDC this year, Sony revealed some of their first experiments into social VR with a four-person demo that was showing at their press event. The avatars looked like South Park characters, and the thumbs up or down gestures using the move controllers would trigger similar emoji-like expressions that were shown to the other avatars in the experience.

I had a chance to catch up with Ellie of Sony’s Online Technology Group to learn more about their iterative design process around discovering a locomotion technique that was comfortable, some of the most surprising and joy-induced social interactions that they discovered, cultivating the sense of shared spectacle, and creating objects that optimize communication between players. I also share some of my own memories and reflections of the experience as well, and it’s some positive signs that Sony is both exploring and innovating in the social VR space.


Here’s an audience member’s recording of the same social VR demo that I experience at GDC. This was presented during a VRDC session:

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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

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