First Rule of Social VR: Don’t Be An Asshat.
It’s amazing when you need to remind individuals to simply be good people. We live our lives at We Are Royale with the one rule: “be good unto others”. It’s our company philosophy. The rest of society? Well… they need a little nudge to understand that what they say online has real world effects on others, even if they never see them. It’s hard to walk one step in another person’s shoes when their identity is locked behind an avatar wearing plastic magenta 80’s sunglasses. But that’s just what Facebook & Oculus needed to do when they launched Oculus Venues, a social platform for group experiential content.
Venues offers people a way of dropping into a shared amphitheater to experience live events together. Users can look around, hear other people in the crowd, interact with them, talk to their neighbors… anything you would typically do at major concerts. While the idea of dropping into the latest U2 concert with your friends is enticing, it raises a concern over users that might not have scored the highest on the “Friendly” section of the SAT test.
What seems so obvious for so many of us, isn’t so obvious for others. Much like the need for airline safety video’s explaining how to buckle a seatbelt, Oculus needed a safety video to explain that everyone in Venues with you are also real people.
Health, Safety and Sanity.
To Oculus’ credit, they’ve been adamant about the Health & Safety of their users. It’s been an initiative they’ve embraced since they drafted their first Kickstarter page. VR is tricky, and it takes users a bit of time to get their “sea-legs.” Not only does Oculus need to ensure the VR experience is comfortable, they need to educate people on how to behave in a social VR space.
Working with the team at Oculus, we’ve established an illustration style for their Health & Safety initiatives across multiple videos, gifs and stills. For Venues, we evolved that look into a shorter, punchier spot. Attention spans are limited, and this safety video was meant to be played every time a user jumps into Venues.
Second Rule of Social VR: Be Cool, Bro.
It’s been a pleasure to continue our partnership with the various teams at Oculus. They have a unique take on Health and Safety, holding strong to the idea that through entertaining and beautiful design, people will better mind what they have to say.
And what they have to say is important. If you gifted yourself with a shiny new Oculus Go (and you really should, they’re pretty awesome) give Venues a try. The slick safety animation you’ll be greeted with is pretty cool too.
And Finally, Don’t Be Gross
In addition to the safety video we made for Oculus Venues, we also made an animated Product Safety video for the Oculus Go. As more and more folks discover how cool VR is, it is only natural that VR headsets will be shared. So, to make sure Oculus Go users aren’t sharing conjunctivitis along with the latest and greatest VR experiences, we made a video reminding folks to be sanitary when using a single piece of hardware with multiple people. The animation style is similar to Venues but with a more direct message, keep it clean.