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Hello, reporters! I have a fun one this week.
I went to a conference a few months ago that had switched to online, and someone invited me to a thing called Gather. It’s an online space where you can walk up to people and start conversations.
When you move your avatar (which you do with your arrow keys, like in an actual video game) up to another person, their video chat pops up and you start chatting.
You can wander off to have private conversations, give a presentation on a whiteboard, or awkwardly insert yourself into groups just like in real life. And most impressive of all, it works! I attended a Gather party the other day with 35+ attendees and didn’t notice a single glitch or freeze.
There are a bunch of fun little worlds, like a Clue game or a weirdly accurate conference hotel lobby. I actually missed out on some of the socializing because I couldn’t resist exploring the the rooftop bar or the Zelda-like forest.
Gather only works on Chrome or Firefox… which is lame. But the tech is impressive, and you can have up to 25 attendees before you have to start paying. This is the closest thing I’ve found to real life socializing!
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