The First-Ever Harvard Reunion Party Was Held in the Metaverse
Metaverse allows people around the world to get together for work, entertainment, socializing, or education. In times of the Covid-19 pandemic, VR technology gained even more pace, conquering one niche after another.
That was how the issue of the Harvard Advanced Management Program class reunion was solved in the best possible way. The problem is clear, as Harvard’s global alumni base consists of adult people with full-time jobs, and the flight ban due to the pandemic doomed the meetup to failure. However, the event organizer, Harvard alumnus Sean West, came up with a breakthrough solution: Mesmerise, a metaverse built with virtual reality. By the way, in addition to being a Harvard alumnus, Sean is also on the Board of Mesmerise.
So, to hold the meetup in the metaverse, Mesmerise shipped Meta Quest 2 VR headsets to 90 alumni across 28 countries. This allowed all former students to get together in the shared metaspace, where everyone could communicate in groups and in private.
The VR party also coincided with the presentation of the book by the group’s professor Ramsay Gulati. The former students were greeted by Gulati and then were split into two separate groups of 45. So as no one felt VR fatigue because of wearing the headset for too long, the meetup lasted only 90 minutes.
According to West, VR technology offered him and other alumni the unique opportunity to be present at the reunion without the hassle of conventional travel. “Nobody had to miss work. Nobody got stuck because they couldn’t get a visa, and no COVID,” Sean West says.
Moreover, the metaverse meet-ups offer more in-person like-in-real-life experiences compared to Zoom. “On a Zoom call, if you want to take people aside to talk to you one on one, it’s exclusionary, I have to create a break room and tell you to join me. In VR we just hopped onto the plaza, you’re out of earshot of everyone else, It’s like in real life,” West commented on the difference between Mesmerise metaspace and Zoom.
Although metaverse can’t fully replace in-person communication, it definitely erases miles between people allowing them to VR party from any spot on the globe without dealing with flight costs.