You are here
Home > Technology > Social Virtual Reality

Social Virtual Reality

If only the VR (Virtual Reality) headsets we have today is as light as sunglasses for sale in the Philippines. We could bring it anywhere we want and go places or meet other people. But why do we keep inventing such complex gadgets other than it could be a source of recreation?

It all boils down to a single reason: because we are social animals. We are wired to connect and to interact with one another. As The Atlantic points out, “just as human beings have a basic need for food and shelter, we also have a basic need to belong to a group and form relationships.” So, we have devised some ways to feed the social animal in us.

Our means to communicate continues to evolve and now it thrives in the digital world. We were never content conversing through just text and email; the textual interaction is not enough. We want real-time response, so we invented instant messenger apps such as Yahoo Messenger, Meebo, and Nimbuzz. The need of being able to bond with other people was once a problem because of distance. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram break that barrier. Video chatting also emerged to have face-to-face communication.

However, despite these technological innovations, we crave for something more dynamic and immersive. We could achieve this through virtual reality. Coined by Jaron Lanier in 1987, Webopedia defines it as “an artificial environment created with computer hardware and software and presented to the user in such a way that it appears and feels like a real environment.”

The research and development of virtual reality declined in mid-‘90s. Now, it makes its comeback and the race to VR headsets is on. It started with Palmer Luckey’s Oculus Rift which is mainly used for gaming. Then it was followed by HTC Vive, Playstation VR, and Samsung Gear VR. Even Facebook sets sights on it and bought Oculus Rift for $2 billion as an investment.

How about the software? VR interaction is only in a one-on-one basis. Group sessions seem an implausible idea because of technical problems such as networking, avatars, real-time interactions, voice and video throughput to be able to render a fluid virtual environment, according to This dilemma will soon end because of AltspaceVR.

Social VR is now on its way thanks to this new software that only requires not oh-so-powerful specs. You can conduct business meetings via VR teleconferencing. This might solve the gap between outsourcing firms and their clients where constant and clear communication is a requisite. Imagine having a virtual office where you could gather your employees scattered all over the world in one place.

Be extra conscious in choosing an avatar though because based on an experimental research, the physical traits or appearance of your avatar may influence your behavior in the virtual world and may also affect who you are in real life. Because besides being social animals, we are also visual creatures. In the research, a tall avatar has an edge in negotiations compared to a short avatar. For now, AltspaceVR offers none at the moment. Currently, they have only two human avatars (a boy and a girl) and two robot avatars and the human avatars are of the same height.


However, some skeptics worry that VR could be an isolating experience just like what happened with Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who went unnoticed during a conference of technology reporters. One commented that it was kind of creepy.

Virtual Reality - FB founder

Here are his comments via Business Insider: “Critics worry that if we spend time paying attention to that new kind of media or technology instead of talking to each other that is somehow isolating. But humans are fundamentally social. So I think in reality, if a technology doesn’t actually help us socially understand each other better, it isn’t going to catch on and succeed.”

For the time being, let us cross our fingers and hope this will not be the future of VR. Instead it will be a world where everyone can interact with one another without distance or boundaries hindering them.

Mom Manila is an investigator by trade and a writer by heart, cracking on trends and truths about style & fashion, beauty & wellness, travel, hobbies, technology, and home life. Always find something out with Mom Manila.

13 thoughts on “Social Virtual Reality

  1. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me &amp my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful info being shared freely out there. eaddfbddaadebdce

  2. My brother recommended I might like this web site.
    He used to be totally right. This post truly
    made my day. You can not consider simply how a lot time I
    had spent for this information! Thanks!

  3. Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy
    to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading
    and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  4. all the time i used to read smaller articles that as
    well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I
    am reading at this time.

  5. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking
    back often!

  6. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness to your post is just
    spectacular and that i can assume you are a professional in this subject.

    Well together with your permission allow me to seize your feed to
    stay up to date with drawing close post. Thanks a million and please keep up the
    gratifying work.

  7. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am inspired!
    Very useful information particularly the ultimate phase 🙂 I maintain such info much.

    I was seeking this certain information for a long time.

    Thank you and good luck.

  8. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will always
    bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage that you continue your great writing, have
    a nice holiday weekend! Maglietta livieri Bambino

Leave a Reply