Furality Online Xperience

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Furality Online Xperience
FuralityLogo.png
Location VRChat
Website
Status Ongoing
First iteration May 22-24, 2020
Subject Furry, VR

Furality Online Xperience (a.k.a. F.O.X. or just Furality) is the world's largest virtual reality furry convention with an attendance of 15,079 in 2022. It is held twice a year, typically in June and November, on the VRChat platform. The convention 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 happen 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 SonicFox5000, 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 modelling, 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]

# Event Name Dates of Convention Theme Venue Location Attendance Charity Amount Notes
1 Furality Online Xperience: Furality 2020 May 22-24, 2020 Cyberpunk VRChat F.O.X. Event Room 2,692 $8,646.93 SaveAFox Corporation 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 Y2K Aesthetic VRChat DIX-E 3,120 $5,846 SaveAFox Corporation First furry convention to Event Partner with VRChat
3 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Luma June 4-6, 2021 Bioluminescent Forest VRChat Luma Forest 6,829[2] $14,649 SaveAFox Corporation
4 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Legends Nov 5-7, 2021 [3] Super Hero/Villain VRChat Legend City 9,024[4] $14,976 SaveAFox Corporation
5 Furality Online Xperience: Furality Aqua June 17-19, 2022 Oceans of Luma VRChat Oceans Of Luma 15,079 $22,638 SaveAFox Corporation The largest virtual furry convention to date

Reception[edit]

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 in order to not completely overload either the VRChat servers or their own 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 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 that had 2,570 attendees in 2020, and DenFur that 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 $8,646.93 USD gathered throughout the weekend. Furality Online Xperience was deemed a great success, and is considered a milestone for online furry conventions.

A promotional banner for FOX 2000.

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.

Events[edit]

Furality Online Xperience 2020[edit]

The first Furality event, Online Xperience 2020 took place from May 22nd to May 24th 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 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" ($35 USD) and "Sponsor" ($100 USD) registration tiers along with basic attendee privileges.

There were numerous lobbies for the Furality 2000 convention:

  • DIX-E Ship (Main lobby)
  • Panel Room
  • Club FYNN (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. $5,846 USD 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 little issues were experienced over the course of the weekend. With Furality's generous donation, SaveAFox Rescue announced plans to expand operations to Florida, USA.

Furality Luma[edit]

Furality Luma was the third event, and Furality Xperiences most ambitious project at the time, occurring from June 4th to June 6th 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"[5]

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 Legends[edit]

Furality Legends was a superhero and villain-themed event with a comic style. It occurred from November 5th to November 7th 2021.

Legends took place in the fictional "Legends 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 character to fit the comic book theme of the convention.

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 of June 2022 to the 19th of June 2022.

Aqua was Furality's largest convention to date, amassing 15,079 attendees over the 3 days it was running, and raising $22,638 for the SaveAFox Rescue. This also made Aqua the largest virtual convention to date.

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 little technical issue was 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 avatar, 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.

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".[6]

Supported OSes and devices include Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Oculus Quest.[7] VRChat is not officially supported on Apple macOS, Ubuntu, and Linux OS.[8]

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 Website, Website, checked November 14, 2021.
  5. Furality website, About Page, checked March 31, 2021.
  6. Furality Online Xperience front page. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  7. System Requirements page on VRChat's website. Dated January 10, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  8. Platforms page on the Steam's website. Retrieved April 17, 2020.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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