Creating an AltspaceVR Campfire

Moments before campfire admin Fae disabled the public commons campfire.

During the week of the 14th of Feb AltspaceVR changed its operations to close the commons areas that were public spaces. Because of this update, the much-beloved campfire was all of a sudden removed after being a popular place to meet people. The campfire was usually the first place of contact for new users to meet AltspaceVR users and staff.

The campfire was also the go-to place to get help in an instant and chances were that you would run into an Altspace campfire staff at most hours of the day. Now you can find AltspaceVR staff going from room to room and event to event.

However, the removal of the campfire was met with an outpour of emotions from users and in the same day that they removed the campfire they added three previous campfire templates and allowed people to create their own campfire worlds using the templates provided by Altspace.

You can create a world and choose one of the Altspace campfire templates to create a world based on one of these templates. You will be able to delegate access, spawn objects and deputize your own campfire moderators.

How to create a world using the campfire template #

What are campfire worlds? #

Since the removal of the campfire lobbies users will create worlds and events using these templates to try and bring back a time when the campfire was the #1 place to meet people. At the time of writing the campfire was just removed so it will make sense that people will create campfire worlds to reminisce and to try and return Altspace to a time when these campfires were fun places to be.

During your time on the AltspaceVR platform, you may come across these campfire rooms visible in your worlds and events tabs. They hold significant meaning to most users of the campfire and there would-be users from December 2021 and backwards who would have a more and more attachment to the place.

The campfire was the hub world you could go to to talk to an admin which was usually staffed most hours of the day and was generally considered a safe space to chat.

The ‘idea’ of the campfire and having an accessible ‘old-school-campfire’ open and as a central hub is an idea that several users have already created since the removal and no doubt won’t be the last.

Why was the campfire removed? #

AltspaceVR is owned by Microsoft and Microsoft being a reputable company with many assets in the gaming industry and they are typically responsible for online reports from their platforms such as Xbox Live and liaising with 3rd party companies to out-source the staffing to power these communities 24/7. It’s easy to see that in comparison to other Microsoft services some changes had to be made to protect users.

This update was hit by controversial opinions as it coincided with other ‘safety’ updates but to understand the timing of it, this change was implemented a few months after FaceBook’s Meta announcement and the story breaking of a reporter claiming to have been virtually groped.

This essential opened up a perception of Microsoft being responsible in public commons, particularly that there were small windows of time where no campfire admin was present and they also rarely went into other spaces such as the info zone.

From a liability standpoint, it has been speculated that putting the network in the hands of the users’ it removes some of the complex legal liability. This also had an extra bonus for Altspace as it freed up resources and allows admins to be more present and useful elsewhere on the platform.

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