VR has been something that has taken it’s time to explode to say the least. With this relatively new feeling technology, it never ceases to amaze me what can be done with it.
This week I attended my first ever VR comedy show. It took place In Horizon Worlds which is described as “a free virtual reality, online video game, with an integrated game creation system, developed and published by Meta Platforms for Oculus.” I started off by installing the Horizon Worlds App on my Oculus 2, not having much experience with VR other than playing a few other games from time to time, I took a bit of time checking out the Horizon Tutorial. From what I gather, it’s a place people can create their own integrated world, with their own rules.
I actually haven’t visited any other worlds yet because it was almost showtime at the Simon Says Laugh Comedy Club, and I was told that it fills up fast. As someone that started a Virtual Comedy Business at the start of the pandemic, I was very interested in seeing the VR side of virtual comedy. There’s a small capacity due to the limitations of the technology still. One extra person enters that virtual world and the whole thing breaks down. The show I was attending was called the Unknown Mic, put on by my business partner Rodney Ramsey, as I entered the first thing that struck me was how detailed the club was. Complete with Green Room, side room for chatting, hallways, and then the main showroom. The club itself felt suited for comedy, but also had the vibe that at one point this venue also could have hosted some sick metal shows. The seats were risers which the visiting avatars could sit on, as I took my seat, I noticed how it really started to feel like I was in an actual venue somewhere. Looking around I could see the different user created Avatar. Seated right beside me was Macho Man Randy Savage himself... Well at least his avatar is piloted by someone who sounds exactly like him.
As the show started Rodney Ramsey’s avatar took the stage to host, I low key expected the audience to just talk the whole way through, hurl insults, be racist.... You know, same as every other video game. But this had a whole different vibe, maybe everyone there just really wanted to see a good quality comedy show? Minutes into the show, you have already forgotten everything you know about the real world... This is your world now, I truly felt like I stepped into an alternate universe. I’m already thoroughly enjoying this comedy show. As a person who has performed comedy for over 13 years, I was surprised how comfortable I felt sitting in the second row, which would typically be a huge taboo/huge power move at any in-person comedy show. There were only three acts this night, but by the time the headliner Jean Paul was on, who also had been visiting the Simon Say Comedy Club for the first time the audience was having a riot and so was I. Jean Paul is a very seasoned comedian, and it showed, as he was kindly ripping into the audience, it was hard to believe that he had never performed in VR before, let alone purchased his first VR Headset just days before. I’m already looking forward to watching next Tuesday’s Unknown Mic although I’m more than certain the next time I visit will be as a performer.