Community spotlight: meet Lance

A self described “student of Cognitive Science at Bogazici University, VR enthusiast, writer of books, and father of one,” AltspaceVR community member LanceJr knows a thing or two about, well, a lot of things. Over the last few months, Lance has combined his course of study with his curiosity to inform his own experiences in virtual reality as well as the inquiring minds of his readers, both analog and digital, through platforms like Medium.

Having wandered into AltspaceVR in early 2016, Lance recalls the profound impact that chronicling the United States’ presidential debates and election had on him over the course of the last year. As an American who currently resides with his family in Istanbul, Turkey, Lance would listen to pressing political conversations in AltspaceVR during the States’ prime time hours, which were Turkey’s pre-sunrise hours. Those moments, the ones he shared with other Americans and AltspaceVR community members in AltspaceVR’s Democracy Plaza, “had a clear impact” on him.

In similar fashion, Lance chronicled his experience watching a SpaceX rocket launch in AltspaceVR. As an avid fan of space exploration, he was excited to have the opportunity to enjoy these milestones with others—even noting that the moments before takeoff were “surprisingly tense” followed by a “flood of goodwill” after a successful launch. Cheering with other onlookers is something, as Lance noted, that’s unique to the social AltspaceVR experience.

The beauty of [AltspaceVR] is that they curate their environments based on the events’ theme. This allows for a fuller experience since we’ve been offered more than just a screen and it offers conversation pieces to be used as ice breakers among unknown avatars.

Whether covering political debates, watching rocket launches, or conjecturing about the future of virtual reality—analyzing everything from more sensory-stimulating alternatives to handheld controllers (like trans-cranial headsets) to the influence of VR on the art world—Lance returns to AltspaceVR for its “highly creative and humorous community.” Reflecting on a recent visit to an AltspaceVR drawing event, Lance was as smitten with the activity as he was with the attendees: “Everyone was authentically funny and unashamed of their weirdness,” he said. “It’s refreshing.”

Here at AltspaceVR, we couldn’t agree more. And we couldn’t be happier to call him a fellow member of the authentically funny AltspaceVR community.

To learn more about Lance’s take on VR, follow him on Medium @lancegpowelljr or find his avatar, LanceJr, in AltspaceVR. Join the authentically funny AltspaceVR community around the Campfire on Daydream, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung GearVR, or use your computer to join in 2D mode.