Compuculture: Visitors

Apr 05, 2020

Welcome back to Compuculture! I’m happy to say that, this week, the first interviews have begun.

Right off the bat, I’ve been floored by how excited people in VR are to do interviews. One of my major fears was that most if not all players would be disinterested in conducting an interview, but much to my surprise, just about everyone I’ve come across wants to! In fact, I’ve not yet had a single person who I requested to interview decline.

My first day ‘on the job’ in VR was in Rec Room, a free massively multiplayer VR game. I began by searching for candidates to interview. I randomly selected one of Rec Room’s many games by throwing a (virtual) dart at the in-game activities board: “Quest for the Golden Trophy” was where it landed. Upon joining a lobby, I was excited to discover that it was a four-player cooperative fantasy adventure game. Within seconds, three other players joined the game and we were off on a fantastic quest.

Twenty minutes later, after we had defeated the final enemy, I approached one of my in-game teammates, “TheJeff17,” and explained that I was doing virtual research and wanted his opinions. He agreed to interview, and we went to the interview center.

You can see all of the questions that were asked and TheJeff17’s responses here.

The next day, I conducted additional interviews. So far, I’ve noticed a few trends in responses:

  1. An important aspect of VR is Freedom. Users treasure the ability to do all sorts of different things without restriction whenever they want.
  2. Another important aspect of VR is Interactivity. One user described how accomplishments in VR feel more meaningful because the world is more real compared to other types of video games.
  3. All users reported more positive experiences than negative experiences in VR and often had difficulty recalling a negative experience when prompted.

Here are some more images of users and the paintings they created. (Note: Drawing in VR is very difficult.)

So far, the collective word board has (aside the giant red splotch added by an overzealous participant) 3 entries on it: “Endless,” “Creative,” and “Virtual Reality.”

Overall, interviews have been a huge success, and I’m looking forward to meeting more virtual users and conducting more interviews.

On the Raft internship side of things, I’ve continued learning Ruby on Rails. I’m now halfway through the professional-grade tutorial I’ve been provided and am almost ready to begin programming. At the moment, I’m learning how to integrate Ruby (the coding language) into the webpages to create sites that can change based on user input.

Next Week: More interviews, more images, and a look at Ruby on Rails.

4 Replies to “Compuculture: Visitors”

  1. Andy Z. says:

    It’s very exciting to hear about the positive opinions of many VR users and how that might shape the development of VR moving forward.

  2. ashleyb says:

    This is fantastic. I love the positive responses from your first attempts to interview. A novice (maybe dumb question) how does one enter VR and join the experience?

    1. Miller H. says:

      In this case, Rec Room is a multiplatform game, meaning it can be played in VR, but also on smartphones, PCs, or consoles. I’m specifically interviewing VR users.
      Players are able to join the game by simply downloading it (usually through a game distribution platform such as the App Store or Steam) and running the application. It’s as easy to play in VR as it is to open an app on your phone.

  3. Charles T. says:

    Oh! That’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing, and thank you TheJeff17!

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