23 brave souls participated in our VR Field trip with DJ Soto. DJ has never heard of a VR field trip so we are claiming that this is a "world's first!" In 2016, DJ launched a new apostolic ministry to innovate and resource the church, including the launch of live church events in virtual reality. Pastor DJ leads the live church services in virtual reality.
Our goal was to give people an opportunity to have a guided experience in several VR worlds. We met in VR using AltSpace. Participants could join via VR headset (3D) or on their phone or computer (2D).Once logged in to AltSpace, participants entered a code that ushered them into our a dedicated Mission ARVR space.
Since this was a first time for most people, there was ample time for people to figure out how to join and navigate. We had a 2D pre-meeting room in Zoom for those who neededassistance.
Once everyonewas assembled, DJ gave an orientation to VR and basic navigation tools. We then left our Mission ARVR space and teleported to VR Church. DJ escorted us throughout the various locations within the church world. From there wewere transportedto an Aztec maze.People wandered throughout the maze before meeting at the entryin order toreturn to the original Mission ARVR meeting room.
- It was phenomenal to see our Mission ARVR space populate with a variety of avatars.Some participants had the standard default robot avatar, but quite a few took the time to customize their avatar. I looked like Bill Clinton wearing a blue-and-white striped sweater.
- It was amusing to see the variety of avatars...human, robot and floating Ghost Buster avatars.
- For some reason my connection got buggy and I got stuck in a loop hearing Tom khazoyan say "Clyde, youare loggedin as a guest so we can't tell who you are." I had to restart my headset to get out of that glitch.
- DJ did a great job of explaining both how VR worlds work and how VR church is a unique and innovative platform for the kingdom of God.
- Iwas embarrassedthat I was the only one who was unable to get out of the maze. I had to go back to the home world in AltSpacein order toget back into the original room (see my lonely avatar lookinglonginglyover the maze).
- It is easy to imagine how this technology will rapidly develop and allow people to have very powerful experiences in community.
- At the end, people were very encouraged by the experience. It required a few steps to get into VR, but goes much faster once you've done it once.
- A special thanks to the rest of the Mission ARV our team… DJ Soto, LMichelle Salvant, Dr. Jonathan Armstrong.