gunterGunter S. Thompson has been hosting VR meetups in VRChat for the past three years where he will give guided tours through the latest additions to the VRChat metaverse, and he also hosts a live talk show every Tuesday called ‘Gunter’s Universe.’ I had a chance to catch up with Gunter at SVVR about two months after VRChat launched on Steam on February 1st where we talked about highlights from his social VR adventures, the challenges of dealing with harassment and trolling with VRChat after it’s public launch, and hanging out at the most popular bar in the metaverse, which is called ‘The Great Pug’.

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  • Mark Steelman

    Did you mean trolling instead of tolling in the article title?

    • StarmanF

      Can’t have people tolling while chatting in VR. It was a problem in 2D monitor games for years. The 3rd dimension only makes it more difficult to stop

  • flamaest

    So you’re saying I just bought two or three thousand dollars worth of hardware to make the most out of this VR experience, and now I have to deal with trolls from 4chan and 8chan? Isn’t there a block button or something? Geez…

    • Those trolls are mostly ones still w/o the hardware bashing it to troll enthusiasts.

      • Flamey

        Yeah, for example the Rift and Vive will be killed by Microsoft because they are fighting on its territory AKA Windows OS, among other less obvious reasons.

        P.S. Ben is such a gentleman for allowing guests on this Disqus account and not trying to moderate nor profile them!

  • VRChat has to be on the verge of a whole host of lawsuits. That game is riddled with stolen IP from just about every game you can think of. Sony, Disney, Warner Brothers. They are stealing from some VERY powerful and VERY sue-happy companies. Someday their selection of avies is going to get *ALOT* smaller.. or they are going to get shutdown entirely.

    If they do get shutdown, that’ll be too bad. It is a very nice chat program. I wish the chat program I make my living off of, IMVU, would use them as a model for bringing their own software into VR.

    • Jamal

      Nope because the content is created by the users not the devs. Also goes well under the parody laws.

      • Ever heard of something called YouTube? They nearly got shutdown over their users uploading copy-righted materials. A “Parody” would constitute some manner of alteration. I can tell you from 2 decades of modeling experience that those are game ripped data files. They didn’t “Create” anything. They just ripped out an existing game’s content and tossed in into VRChat. It doesn’t matter WHO did it, as YouTube found out, the people who run the service are still liable.

        • Jamal

          And yet YouTube still stands.

          • “And yet” they yank stuff off of it ALL THE TIME. In fact, they now have automatic filters to find copyrighted material and remove it the moment it’s uploaded. I’d wager a bet they process and remove at least 100 DMCA take-down notices a day for the stuff their filters miss. What part of this are you NOT understanding??

          • CazCore

            so surely all they need is an avatar yanking feature and then it’s smooth sailing?

  • On the last topic of Trolling, I think ever guy should spend at least 10 minutes in a VR chat room where people don’t know them, wearing a female avatar. I did that in AltVR on afternoon, and holy-CRAP, guys are creepy and molesty! Just give it a try, once. I never noticed just how bad it can be for women in VR.

    • Emwat13

      You sound triggered. Did it hurt your virtual feelings?

  • wheeler

    I understand the need for moderation but I think these social experiences should have public unmoderated spaces as well (with a big fat warning). Because–nevermind 4chan scum and alt-right male chauvinism–if a guy can’t jokingly ask to touch another guy’s boob without getting flagged for moderation, that seems absurdly uptight to me. Maybe that’s just the norm for the culture that has created and formed around VRChat and I understand the value in recognizing predominant norms, but if this is what’s unacceptable then I think this will seriously limit the user-base that will partake in the experience over the long term. If that’s what VRChat is going for though I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with it. Perhaps this is already spelled out in the code of conduct.