a sample image of how virtual socials could look
An Image showing how virtual meetups can look.

Social gatherings in a virtual world? Some of you might ask what this means. I have been in virtual worlds since 2004. During that time, my friends have fallen into two broad categories. People I know in the physical world and those I know through virtual worlds. The outbreak of the Coronavirus and subsequent social restrictions in the physical world has changed this.

Today the Fire and Ice Grid hosted a coffee social on behalf of the York LGBT Forum. Usually, the coffee mornings take place is the physical world. Compared to the regular event, the turn out was limited. However, it was the first time, and the first weekend people have been so restricted. There were more people signed up so future events will hopefully be better attended.

My degree studies are also using the Fire and Ice grids facilities for similar reasons. One of the modules is in Sustainable Computing. Part of that topic area covers using computing to help the health of society. Additionally, it comes in by saving the standard fuel costs of people travelling to hold meetings.

Two friendship groups meeting has been an emotional moment for me. The current social restrictions can and will be hard for many people. Using avatars may not be for everyone, but it is an excellent way socialise. I am going to make an offer to charitable organisations during these hard times. If you run social gatherings in the real world which can not happen due to Coronavirus restrictions; And, you’re interested in running Social gatherings in a virtual world contact me.

The Fire and Ice grid is still only a small venture, so it will have to be on a first come first served based. Hopefully, this will give some the chance to get to together who might not otherwise be able to do so. I will be posting full details on the Fire And Ice Grids Blog.

Written by Sara Payne

Student of Computer Science at The University Of Hull and small business owner.

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