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Pop Culture

VRChat, the Embodiment of Internet Culture

Recently a game by the name of “VRChat” has had a surge in popularity and is set to come out of the early access by February 1. Seeing as the game is about to reach its finished game status, not much content will be added.

If you were to describe VRChat in one sentence it would sound a bit like this: VRChat is a social experiment that has created a hellscape of mental insanity.

That might be an over exaggeration, but it still resembles this description. VRChat isn’t really a traditional game; it is really just a virtual outlet for a community. All you do is talk. Sure, there are mini-games, like bowling and skeet shooting, but the main focus is on the community and the random nonsense you will see.

The graphics range from okay to pixelated “Hey Arnold.” In other words, they look like they were made in the 90s. Due to the fact that a lot of the game is community-made, besides the stock models and levels, the models tend to be made not to look great or even decent.

Usually, the intent is to make a model funny- whatever the cost. It could be pixelated “Hey Arnold”, a polished anime woman, or maybe just a funny looking Knuckles from Sonic. The graphics don’t really matter in a game like this, but I would still have to say it fails in the graphics department.

What  about the music and sound design, you may ask. Oh wait, there is none. Like I said, the game is mainly community-made, so if there is music or sound design, it is probably a meme or complete nonsense. I would have to say that VRChat fails in music and sound design, being as there is almost none.

Now for the controls. VRChat can surprisingly work without a VR headset, but the controls suffer if you try to. When you try to play the game without a VR headset, it feels clunky and stiff, which is to be expected from a game focused on the VR aspect.

The walking on keyboard controls is more enjoyable than the VR headset moving controls, so it has that going for it. I mean come on, it’s in the title. Now, the VR headset controls aren’t terrible but they aren’t the best either.

Using your hands, it’s responsive enough, but the walking is a tad bit weird. This is because when you try to walk, a representation of your character leaves your body and shows where you will be when you stop moving, which just seems a bit annoying since you don’t feel like you are walking yourself.

It would have been nice if there was a walk mode and you could just lean forward and move in the direction you wanted. The controls were just passable, but they work, so VRChat succeeds in that department.
And the actual gameplay of VRChat? It consists of you going through random portals into different worlds types, which have a few servers for each world.

The world types can range from a stand-up night at a bar or just an island titled Uganda. Each world type usually doesn’t have something different to do besides talk and each world type inhabits different people. Most of the people you will talk to will be the same just a random bag of edgelords, meme enthusiasts, or just normal people.

If you travel to the Ugandan World, the horrors of VRChat will come out in its strongest form. When you enter the depths that is VRChat’s Uganda, you will be greeted by a horde of tiny versions of Knuckles from the Sonic franchise.

The Ugandan Knuckles, as they are called, are on a quest to find “de way” and will constantly ask if you know “de way”. If they aren’t asking if you hold the knowledge of “de way”, then they will be looking for a queen, talking about ebola, or spitting on people.

Now this meme in VRChat is a big part of the gameplay. Even if you don’t go to the Ugandan world, you can still find these Ugandan Knuckles throughout the servers. The joke was funny for a while, but it can get old really quick.

It sounds stupid to say, but Ugandan Knuckles actually hinders gameplay because a lot of the game is taken up by the Ugandan Knuckles and you don’t get to experience new jokes and new experiences in general.

The meme is only temporary, but it still hinders the fun you can have with VRChat if they keep bothering you. As long as you can take a joke and are a social person, you will enjoy the gameplay of VRChat. I am going to say that VRChat succeeds in gameplay.

Now there are other parts of VRChat you might want to know about, but there is not a lot to be said about it. The story is that there is none; you make it up yourself in the different world types. It succeeds in story in the sense that it gives you the freedom to make your own.

The replay-ability, if you are able to with take an onslaught of Ugandan Knuckles, anime women, edgelords, and meme enthusiasts then VRChat is possibly an infinite experience. You can create anything with modding, so VRChat succeeds in replay-ability.

The atmosphere, it has none; it is light hearted all the time and never creates an official atmosphere, so it fails in that department.
VRChat is an unending nightmare that you can’t wake up from until death and even then, I can’t guarantee it.

For an regular person, this would be the case, but for a small about of internet culture embedded individuals this game is a masterpiece that gives them a gold mine of entertainment.I am going to give VRChat 5/10. I enjoyed my time with it, but once the community dies, the game is no more.