Fuckup Nights in Virtual Reality… is a Reality

It’s hard to predict people’s behavior in coming months, even years. We all might turn into germaphobes and avoid all types of socializing, or say, Fuck it! and become all peace and love hippies. Hard to imagine Woodstock in 2020 and in all the event industry’s future seems very capricious today. 

On May 13–14 2020, around 300 visitors, from 45 countries joined the first Fuckup Nights in Virtual Reality. The long awaited event was faithful to Fuckup Nights real events. Virtual Reality helped keep the main perks of the format. The audience was engaging, asking questions, giggling, frowning, clapping. Later everyone teleported to Fuckup Nights Rooftop to mingle, share their thoughts and continue meaningful conversations and laughs sparked by the stories of speakers.

We played around the idea of a Zoom Fuckup Nights, but we have been using Skype and Zoom like calls for everything from talking to friends, relatives, business meetings even before COVID-19 and now they’ve become a part of our everyday routine.

But Fuckup Nights are a little special. There is a strange magic that happens between the speaker and audience. It’s also rewarding to see people stay for the mingling-party and have fun, meaningful conversations and laughs sparked by failure stories. We feared that we might lose all the FUN from Fuckup Nights.

The idea of going VR came from our long time friend, Arloopa AR/VR. We have been collaborating with them closely with Fuckup Nights. They made our Talking T-Shirts with Aumented Reality and hosted a Fuckup Nights in their place.

Serendipity is my favorite word, it’s when you find something of value while you were looking for something else, and very often, what you found has been there for a while. 

A new format

Fuckup Nights are organized in unexpected places. Church in Germany, a Tent in Mongolia, 2000m high lake in Armenia, why not try to take Fuckup Nights into the untapped territory of Virtual Reality ,with a little help from our friends.

We looked through some platforms that can support an event of our size and specifications. All this is very new and all platforms have limits. We decided on AltspaceVR. VR and AR community members have always been the most dreamers among tech community, they were always ahead of their time and dreamers have the juiciest fuckups. This fact makes us feel very welcome.

There are challenges. The platform is not supporting any of the Apple products. It also takes a while for newcomers to get a hang of it. That created a need to practice with speakers and organize a rehearsal party for the new guests a day before the event. It will also give a chance to stress test both hardware and software. 

I have to say it’s been a great learning experience thus far and even if things don’t work out the way we plan (they usually don’t), I’m already glad to have found this new world, and hope so will our guests.

Trying to cool the Oculus with an ice-pack in the midst of the event

Check out the videos of the talks if you missed it. 

Arkadi Jeghiazaryan
Entrepreneur, founder and CEO at AMLOGY

Meruzhan Danielyan Co-founder and CEO at Teamable

Taron Lizagub Builder
Entrepreneur, Wand maker, Founder & Chief Scientist at Knoxlabs

Read the original blog post by Fuckup Nights Armenia at Medium