During the global pandemic, Zoom and Google Meet have gone from obscure business apps to household names. It’s where university students attend classes and where employees host virtual meetings while working remotely. But what if there’s a virtual world made for people who need real-world interaction?
Forget Zoom and Google meet! You can now do meetings on a website that looks like a retro video game! Gather Town is a web-conferencing software like Zoom, but with the added component of seeing the virtual “room”, you and the other participants are occupying. You also have the ability to move around and interact with other participants based on your location in the room, just like in real life. The virtual spaces even allow you to make your own custom, interactive space using their creation tools.
Gather Town starts with its rooms. Much like 8-bit pixelized video games, users can select a vast array of rooms to fit the atmosphere of almost any place of human interaction. Trying to teach? Gather Town has a classroom for that. Trying to run a business perhaps? Gather Town has an office for that.
Within your environment, Gather Town allows you to add virtual components and tools to your virtual space, such as whiteboards, podiums, or even a laptop, to more fully mimic a classroom, office, or university setting.
With over 4 million users, it seems to be gaining lots of traction already according to Sequoia. Exploring Gather Town makes you notice the appeal of the atmosphere and that it’s more fun than popular video chat services. Honestly, it could help take your mind off the corporate, soul-sucking environment of being in a Zoom meeting or a Google Meet call all day.
Gather also manages to replicate the sense of presence you get when you’re near another person in real life. In a Gather space, you can only see another person’s video-chat feed and hear their voice as soon as your avatar gets close to an acquaintance. How fun is that?
If you’re thinking that Gather might blow up for the next six months and then disappear if and when it’s safe to go out, guess again! Many have expressed that they might still use it even if Covid is gone for good.
This is definitely the only form of Gather-ing we approve of in the pandemic.