VR event was a virtual feast for the eyes.

As virtual reality technology creeps more and more into mainstream culture, the question of how society will adapt to it looms as well. One group striving to address this question is the newly established Japanese NPO Virtual Rights. Having been granted NPO status in March of 2021, and with a current membership of about 450 people, this non-profit is still rather nebulous in terms of a mission statement.

They aren’t lobbying for any specific government action but would like to be a resource for politicians to use at times when legislation is being discussed. They also don’t claim to be spokespeople representing all VR users, but hope to act as a focal point for VR content creators to meet, share ideas, and raise awareness of VR culture to the masses.

One particular awareness-raising campaign took place from 11 June to 30 July, called the Virtual Reality Photo Award 2021 A. This is like a normal photography exhibition except that it’s held entirely in virtual reality and with all photos having been taken in VR space.

Although this was the first time the event was held, Virtual Rights managed to curate upwards of 1,000 entries. With the added benefit of not having to worry about COVID-19, over 1,400 visitors were able attend.

Awards were also given to the highest scoring works in virtual trophies.

In addition, the Japanese Red Cross Tokyo Metropolitan Branch set up a virtual booth in the exhibit venue.

It worked to solicit donations of money and blood, and educate on the disaster relief efforts the Red Cross is involved in. In a commemoration ceremony of this partnership a Red Cross rep met with Virtual Rights Chairperson Yuto Kunitake (aka Sukaneki) in both virtual form…

…and reality form.

With the first VR Photo Award success under their belt, Virtual Rights is seeking more sponsors for future events. They hope to take advantage of being one of the few infection-proof events that companies needn’t worry about attaching their names to, as they continue to spread VR culture to more people. With Digital Days in Japan coming on 10 and 11 October (because the dates are binary “10-11-10”), Virtual Rights will probably be doing something to celebrate this immersive technology.

It all looks like fun and I’d love to join, but all that gear is still a little beyond my budget. For now I’ll have to stick with the VR of my own personal dreamworld, even though every time I go there I forget my pants and my teeth always fall out.

Source: Virtual Rights, PR Times, Japan Digital Days
Images: PR Times
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