Social VR platform Sansar has teamed up with comedian and YouTube star Steve Hofstetter to create a series of comedy nights in virtual reality. Dubbed “Comedy Gladiators: A Virtual Comedy Experience,” the event series marks the first time for Sansar to hold ticketed pay-per-view events.
“Comedy Gladiators” will allow VR users to enter a virtual comedy club with their own customizable avatars, listen to performances, buy virtual merchandise and chug VR drinks. A first event will be held on Monday, December 10, with performers including Ben Gleib, Maz Jobrani, Alonzo Bodden, and Mary Lynn Rajskub, as well as Hofstetter himself. Tickets sell for $4.99 until December 5, and $9.99 thereafter.
“Every day, I get emails and DMs from fans who want to see a live show, but they live in parts of the world I’ll probably never tour in,” said Hofstetter. “VR allows those fans to not only see a live show, but feel like they’re part of a bigger community.”
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Sansar is one of a handful of social VR platforms that allows its users to create their own avatars and meet with likeminded folks in virtual worlds. It’s made by Linden Lab, the same company that previously created Second Life. However, unlike Second Life, Sansar has been created with VR in mind; the platform is currently available on Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
With “Comedy Gladiators,” Sansar is for the first time veering into paid events. The platform’s so-called avatar broadcasting technology allows creators to perform in front of a virtually unlimited number of fans, who can each enjoy the performance in an intimate, comedy club-like setting. Performers can monetize their events with paid tickets as well as merchandise, and even sell physical goods through the platform.
“By bringing these commercial opportunities into VR, Sansar is taking virtual events to a whole new level – enhancing and expanding on what’s possible in-person,” said Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg. “We look at ‘Comedy Gladiators’ as the first ripple in a larger wave – the first event of many more that bring entertainers into VR – and we’re thrilled that Steve shares this vision.”