VRChat Review - A New Way to Enjoy VR

There’s more to VRChat than the Ugandan Knuckles meme, especially when it comes to popularizing VR.

4 weeks ago by Morgan Shaver in Reviews

Virtual reality recently emerged as the latest form of “niche technology” for hardcore gamers. One quick look at the state of VR, and it’s easy to see why it has yet to really take off.

Right now, it feels as though there are more options for VR headsets than there are for VR applications. That isn't to say that companies (including Facebook) don't have big plans for the development of future VR apps and games. Unfortunately, the options available for today's VR users remain depressingly slim.

Of course, that isn’t to say there aren’t incredible VR games available for purchase via HTC Vive or even Steam. The issue is limited diversity. The VR games on offer tend to feel as though they’re carbon copies of the same basic concept and gameplay. As such, it’s easy to get burned out within the confines of virtual reality.

This is why applications like VRChat are both necessary and even somewhat revolutionary.

On the surface, you may only know VRChat by developer VRChat Inc. from one of 2018’s first memes, Ugandan Knuckles. For a quick refresher on what Ugandan Knuckles is, check out the confusing, yet wildly entertaining, video example below.

After getting accustomed to the rampant amount of Ugandan Knuckles in VRChat, you’ll find that VRChat’s quality and quantity helps make the world of virtual reality a “place to be.” Gaming, and the internet as a whole, offer a fantastic opportunity to meet new people from all over the world.

VRChat taps into this and helps add a face (like the face of Ugandan Knuckles) to that individual. While you can certainly spend hours roleplaying Ugandan Knuckles in VRChat, you can hang out and watch the mayhem unfold, and in general, enjoy a unique piece of virtual freedom.

Memes and chaos aside, there’s a surprising amount of humanity inside VRChat. Take the recent story where several users stopped what they were doing to ensure a player, who’d suffered a seizure while connected to the application, was alright.

In a world where multiplayer games can be highly toxic, it’s nice to hear about moments of shared empathy and compassion. Especially in a social space like VRChat. I honestly think VRChat is the future when it comes to building connections via social media. Other companies will likely copy what VRChat has done, and will attempt to hone in on what makes VRChat great as a whole.

I won’t lie, the entire thing reminds me a lot of O.A.S.I.S. from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s a good example of how science fiction can evolve into functional pieces of reality. Overall, VRChat offers a much-needed change of pace for virtual reality users. One they don’t have to shell out big money to experience, as VRChat is blissfully free-to-play.

If you’ve been feeling a bit burned out from the VR games in your library, I highly recommend checking out VRChat. Even if it doesn’t rekindle your passion for VR, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face at the very least.

Pros
  • Offers a fun, unique social space in VR
  • Freedom to create your own character
  • A growing community of players
Cons
  • Some connectivity issues