Furality Online Xperience

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Furality Online Xperience
FuralityLogo.png
Other names {{{othernames}}}
Location VRChat
Website
Status Ongoing
First iteration May 22-24, 2020
Organizer(s) Daltyn (Chairman)
Furality Team (Team Page)
Charity Equality Institute (2023)
Save-A-Fox (2020-22)
Subject Furry, virtual reality (VR)

Furality Online Xperience (a.k.a. F.O.X. or just Furality) is a virtual reality furry convention on the VRChat platform. The convention usually hosts panels, meetups, dance raves at Club F.Y.N.N. and a Dealer's Den. Furality has been running since 2020.

History[edit]

Its first iteration began on Memorial Day weekend, May 22-24, 2020. Its second convention, Furality 2000, was hosted on November 6-8, 2020.

The idea for Furality Online Xperience was published on March 28, 2020, through their Telegram channel. The convention gathered widespread attention in the virtual reality community. It was originally proposed as a 'convention that never ends', since the idea was that VRChat is a platform that will continue to be online after the convention is over. Another reason for this was that furry meetups on VRChat happened very frequently around the time that the first FOX was hosted.

There was no registration fee to sign up for the first convention. Due to licensing fees with VRChat, Furality later added a minimum $10 attendance fee, along with other registration tiers such as First Class and Sponsor. They added a program that offers free attendance to those who financially cannot afford registration due to the 2020 economic recession. However, a donation was encouraged and could be given to the convention's charity, SaveAFox; a non-profit organization based in Minnesota. Notable attendees included VRChat business developer "VRPill", VRChat community manager "Tupper", furry YouTuber Pocari Roo, Kemono YouTuber Sherbert Shenanigans, professional fighting game player SonicFox, and voice actor Sean Chiplock.

In July 2020, Furality, Inc. was incorporated as a Florida nonprofit corporation to operate future "Furality Online Xperience" conventions. Its mission is to provide a forum for attendees to gather to experience, learn, share, and celebrate anthropomorphic arts, including performing arts, such as improv and musical performances, as well as visual arts, such as cartoons, sketches, photography, 3D modeling, and digital design. Furality, Inc will also collect donations to the benefit of selected charitable organizations, typically but not exclusively ones associated with animal welfare and/or preservation.[1]

Information[edit]

Since its inception in May 2020, Furality Online Xperience has taken place in VRChat. From 2020 until 2022, its charity of choice was SaveAFox Rescue headquartered in Minnesota. For its 2023 convention, in honor of Pride Month, Furality's charity of choice was the LGBTQ non-profit organization Equality Florida Institute.

# Event Name Dates of Convention Theme World Attendance Charity Amount Raised Notes
1 Furality Online Xperience: Furality 2020 May 22-24, 2020 Cyberpunk/Retro F.O.X. Event Room 2,692 $8,646 SaveAFox Rescue The first VR-only furry convention without any pre-existing foundation to an in-person convention.
2 Furality Online Xperience: Furality 2000 Nov 6-8, 2020 2000's/Y2K Aesthetic DIX-E 3,120 $5,846 SaveAFox Rescue First furry convention to Event Partner with VRChat
3 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Luma June 4-6, 2021 Bioluminescent Forest Luma Forest 6,829[2] $14,649 SaveAFox Rescue
4 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Legends Nov 5-7, 2021[3] Super Hero/Villain Legend City 9,024[4] $14,976 SaveAFox Rescue
5 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Aqua June 17-19, 2022 Aquatic/Underwater Oceans of Luma 15,079 $22,638 SaveAFox Rescue
5a Furality Luma Festival Feb 17-18, 2023 Bioluminescent Forest Luma Falls 11,806[5] -
6 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Sylva June 2-4, 2023 Tropical Rainforest Isle of Sylva 15,160[6] $17,811 Equality Florida Institute, Inc. The largest virtual furry convention to date
7 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Umbra June 6-9, 2024 Urban Sci-Fi TBA TBA $TBA (Charity TBA) More information to be revealed

Events[edit]

Furality Online Xperience: Furality 2020[edit]

The first Furality event, Online Xperience 2020 took place from May 22nd to the 24th of 2020, intending to be a small event to test the idea of hosting a convention online via the VRChat platform.

2,692 attendees and $8,646.93 raised for the SaveAFox Rescue later, attendance was more than expected and confirmed that an online convention on VRChat was viable.

The event was based on a Retro/cyberpunk theme and included some panels, meetups, and dance events.

Furality Online Xperience: Furality 2000[edit]

During an interview at VirtualFurence, the chairman hinted at another FOX event happening in 2020. On August 30, it was confirmed that a new convention would take place between November 6-8, 2020. The theme was "Furality 2000" featuring a Y2K aesthetic, celebrating 2000s video games. Unlike the first iteration of Furality Online Xperience, pre-registration became available and added the options of "First Class" (USD 35) and "Sponsor" (USD 100) registration tiers along with basic attendee privileges.

There were numerous lobbies for the Furality 2000 convention:

  • DIX-E Ship (Main lobby)
  • Panel Room
  • Club F.Y.N.N. (raves)
  • Dealer's Den (Blue, Green, Purple)

As a result, 3,120 attendees registered for Furality 2000; 428 more attendees than FOX's Q2 iteration in May. USD 5,846 was raised for the SaveAFox Rescue charity. Despite the imbalance between the attendee and charity count, Furality, Inc. commissioned and acquired many more assets for their second convention compared to their first, including downloadable asset packs for First Class and Sponsor attendees. Furality, Inc. also had to officially pay licensing fees to VRChat.

Overall, Furality Online Xperience 2000's livestream, web portal, and registration process greatly improved in regards to stability, and few issues were experienced throughout the weekend. With Furality's generous donation, SaveAFox Rescue announced plans to expand operations to Florida, USA.

Furality Online Xperience: Furality Luma[edit]

Furality Luma was the third event, and Furality Xperience's most ambitious project at the time, running from June 4th to the 6th of 2021.

Furality Luma featured five new worlds themed on the bioluminescent forests of the fictional planet Luma, filled with magic crystals and glowing plants "where magic and nature unite to create an environment best seen by its own light"[7]

Luma featured presentations, panels, meetups, performances, raves in Club FYNN, and a Dealer's Den showcasing various creators across the fandom.

Luma was the first event where attendees were provided with content for their VRChat avatar including Furality's first avatar shader, the Luma Glow Shader created by Naito Ookami with rune designs by Kreic. The shader allowed the attendee's characters to react with the light in the world and was an attempt to enhance the experience and feeling of connection to the world.

In terms of attendance, 6,829 people attended raising $14,649 for the SaveAFox Rescue.

Furality Online Xperience: Furality Legends[edit]

Furality Legends was a superhero/supervillain-themed event with a comic book style. It ran from November 5th to the 7th of 2021.

Legends took place in the fictional "Legend City" and had 9,024 people in attendance.

The convention featured presentations, panels, meetups, performances, and the Dealer's Den, as well as the raves in Club FYNN like in previous years.

The convention also featured the second shader by Naito Ookami, the Furality Legends Shader. This shader allowed the attendees to pick between a selection of stylized lighting effects for their characters to fit the comic book theme of the convention.

Furality Online Xperience: Furality Aqua[edit]

Furality Aqua was an underwater-themed event, returning to the fictional planet of Luma but exploring the vibrant oceans of the planet. It ran from the 17th to the 19th of June 2022. Aqua had a total of 15,079 attendees and raised $22,638 for SaveAFox Rescue.

The Oceans of Aqua featured all the previous event types, including the Dealer's Den, and Club FYNN raves.

Furality Aqua had major backend improvements by the DevOps team, and very few technical issues were faced by attendees. There was a total peak of 5,150 attendees at any one time, and more than 6,300 world instances were created, with the F.O.X portal sending out over 320 thousand world invites to attendees, and the instances logged as being joined over 2.5 million times, as reported at the Closing Ceremony.

Aqua featured the third shader of Furality, the Aqua Shader by Naito Ookami. It also featured props for attendees to place on their avatars, including holographic "Aqua Fins"; a glowing form of fish fins made to make attendees look more aquatic to fit with the theme of the convention.

Furality Luma Festival[edit]

A "Festival" variant of its Luma-themed convention was held on February 17, 2023, for 30 continuous hours. The admission fee for the Festival was $10, with an attendance of 11,806.[8] The Festival mostly contained meetups, an Avatar Showcase Gallery, and live performances from various furry musicians, such as Whsprs, YonKaGor and ChaoticCanineCulture (CK9C).

Furality Online Xperience: Furality Sylva[edit]

"Furality Sylva" was a tropical rainforest-themed event that was held from June 2 to 4 of 2023, with the theme of the event being revealed during the closing ceremonies of Furality Luma Festival back in February.[9] Live performances included When Snakes Sing, Whsprs, YonKaGor, ChaoticCanineCulture (CK9C) and ivycomb. The Dealer's Den was made public the day after its convention run on June 5,[10] only for a week until its closure on June 11.

Sylva was Furality's largest convention to date, amassing 15,160 attendees over the 3 days it was running, and raising $17,811 for the Equality Florida Institute. This also made Sylva the world's largest virtual convention to date.

Furality Online Xperience: Furality Umbra[edit]

The desert-themed seventh mainline iteration of Furality is scheduled for June 6-9, 2024. This will be the first Furality event taking over 4 days, as opposed to the typical 3-day weekend of its previous events.

Public VRChat Worlds[edit]

Furality normally takes place in 5-7 private VRChat worlds that exist only for the weekend of the event. However, after some conventions and events, Furality has remixed elements of those worlds into a public version for anyone to visit.

Furality˸ F․Y․N․N․'s Room - Public World[edit]

This world was created to be a home for the Furality convention mascot "F.Y.N.N." theme as a bedroom suite of sorts and decorated with memorabilia from past Furality conventions. There is also a notable "Gateway" portal in the room that takes users to a "Furality Luma" area and a "Furality Legends" area where they can revisit the public remixes of those themes. There is also a "Furality Gateway" area through the portal that serves as the main location for IRL conventions to VR bidirectional live streams where attendees of physical conventions can interact with users in VRChat. This world was published to VRChat on June 2, 2021.[11]

The Oceans of Luma - Public World[edit]

A "Public World" variant of its Aqua-themed convention, titled "The Oceans of Luma", was published to VRChat in late November 2022.[12]

The Isle of Sylva - Public World[edit]

Two "Public World" variants (day and night) of its Sylva-themed convention were published to VRChat in mid-December 2023.[13][14]

Downloads and requirements[edit]

VRChat can be downloaded on Steam for both VR and non-VR users interested in attending Furality. It was stated on their website that although a virtual reality (VR) headset is not needed in order to attend the event, it is recommended "for the best experience".[15]

Supported OSes and devices include Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Oculus Quest.[16] VRChat is not officially supported on Apple macOS, Ubuntu, and Linux OS.[17]

Reception[edit]

A promotional banner for FOX's Y2K-themed 2020 convention.

Furality Online Xperience garnered large attention for a first-time convention on social media websites Twitter, Telegram, and Discord. Attending an online convention was seen as highly convenient for many reasons, including safety from the COVID-19 virus, financial ease from not purchasing hotel rooms, expensive convention registration, passport registration, travel burdens, and more. Some attendees mentioned they were geographically isolated from mainstream conventions, or suffer from social anxiety, which made FOX a great alternative for them.

During the first day of the convention many attendees complained of not being able to access the online portal that would allow them to join the convention rooms; the Furality staff had to postpone the sending of login information emails to not completely overload either the VRChat servers or their web portal. Furality staff apologized for the delay to those affected and began sending out the remaining login information emails by Saturday morning, as the service had stabilized significantly.

There was a total of 2,692 confirmed attendees its first weekend -- a number that Furality staff did not anticipate. At the time the convention ended, it was ranked the tenth largest furry convention as of May 2020, shying between Anthro New England which had 2,570 attendees in 2020, and DenFur which had 2,735 attendees in 2019.

During the closing ceremony, it was announced that attendees of the convention raised 1,183 donations for Furality's sponsored charity, SaveAFox, totaling USD 8,646.93 gathered throughout the weekend. Furality Online Xperience was deemed a great success and is considered a milestone for online furry conventions.

In June 2022, Furality Aqua, became the most-attended furry event of its time at 15,079 registrations, beating the in-person Anthrocon event which garnered 9,358 in 2019. F.O.X. Aqua also raised over $22,300 in donations for Save-A-Fox.

Controversy[edit]

During Furality's community showcase event at Midwest Furfest's 2023 iteration,[clarify] a tweet[citation needed] was posted on X alledging that a furry named Jinxy_VR was able to register anonymously to evade being rejected, as he is alleged of being a groomer and Pedophile. In response to this, many furries[who?] (whether attended the event in the past or not)[citation needed] criticized Furality for covering up and defending Jinxy being accepted to the event.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. Furality website, About Page, checked March 31, 2021.
  2. Furality Twitter, Tweet, checked June 11, 2021.
  3. Furality Twitter, Tweet, checked July 16, 2021.
  4. Furality Twitter, Website, checked November 14, 2021.
  5. Furality Twitter, Tweet, checked February 20, 2023.
  6. Furality Twitter, Tweet, checked June 5, 2023.
  7. Furality website, About Page, checked March 31, 2021.
  8. Furality Twitter, Tweet, checked February 20, 2023.
  9. DaltynWolf Twitter, Tweet, checked February 18, 2023.
  10. Furality Sylva - Dealer's Den - Public World
  11. Furality˸ F․Y․N․N․'s Room
  12. Furality Aqua˸ The Oceans of Luma - Public World
  13. Furality Sylva: Treehouse Village - Public World
  14. Furality Sylva: Treehouse Village (at Night) - Public World
  15. Furality Online Xperience front page. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  16. System Requirements page on VRChat's website. Dated January 10, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  17. Platforms page on the Steam's website. Retrieved April 17, 2020.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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