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Thread: Virtual Reality Experiences for Transgender People

  1. #1
    Gender adventurer JamieG's Avatar
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    Virtual Reality Experiences for Transgender People

    For the past two years I have been a huge virtual reality (VR) enthusiast. Over that time, I wondered how the technology could be used to experience being a gender other than the one that was assigned at birth. For those of you who are unfamiliar with VR, the typical setup has a headset that tracks your head movement so that the view changes depending on where you look. Built-in are separate screens for each eye, giving you a 3D view. You hold a controller in each hand and these allow you to manipulate objects in the virtual world, much like you would in the real one. Many experience can be quite immersive, making you feel like you are in another world. However, most games don't really show your body; you might see a weapon you are holding, or maybe a pair of hands floating in front of you as visual analogs of your real hands. As such, it is hard to get a sense of gender, even when you are playing a female character.

    More recently I've discovered two games that are steps in the right direction. Rec Room is a giant multi-player social platform. You can go into different spaces and meet players from all over the world, and play games with them. Games range from role playing quests, to dodgeball and paintball, to charades. You can customize your avatar, choosing long hair and a dress, if that's what suits you, and even have the game automatically pitch your voice higher or lower when talking to other players. The avatar is very cartoon-like, and doesn't even have legs, but you make it clearly look like a woman (or a man) if you choose. Unfortunately, you cannot see your body in game except when in front of a (virtual) mirror, but it does give you the chance to present yourself as a woman to others, while in the safety of your home and maintaining anonymity. I could see how this could help someone gradually explore their gender before stepping outside of the home.

    A second game is Dance Central VR. This is basically a dancing game in the vein of Just Dance, except with a bit of story stretched around it. You spend your time in a dance club and meet various characters. You earn their respect by dancing with them. Again, you can customize your avatar, which although still somewhat of a cartoon, is much more realistic than Rec Room. You can pick from two female and two male body types, multiple faces, and a ton of hair options. Your clothing options include a skirt, a short-shorts with stockings option, leggings, etc. You can check yourself out in the mirror, but the best part is when you're in the game you see your full arms (which match your chosen body type) and when you look down, you see your legs and whatever clothes your are wearing. Then you get to dance in the club and doing the various moves following your dance partner really gets me in a femme headspace. It's the closest I've come to feeling like a woman in VR. I hope this is only a sign of things to come for the future of VR.

    Does anyone else here play VR? Any other games you would recommend to M2F transgender individuals?

    Jamie

  2. #2
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting, cept for the dancing part...I would earn no respect there. I am curious about second life... which I guess isn?t quite VR but more of a simulation.

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  3. #3
    Seňora Member Robertacd's Avatar
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    I have played around with an HTC Vive VR setup at the local Makerspace.

    Sure it's cool, but unless you look in a mirror in the game you are still you.

    So I don't see how the VR aspect really adds much.

    Might as well be playing Second Life...

    Speaking of Second Life they have a "VR Second Life" called Sensar
    Last edited by Robertacd; 12-29-2019 at 12:50 AM.

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    Weirdest woman ever! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    I'll be honest--- I don't get it?
    How is presenting as a cartoon female among other cartoon characters satisfying?

    How is that better than being a closet dresser and presenting as a female on your own FB Page? At least, I'm thot to be female by about 1/2 the 2 to 5 daily Friend requests on FB. The photos I post r actually of me. If hand picked. And, 90% of the folks who contact me post real photos of themselves.
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

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  5. #5
    1.#QNaN Lydianne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docrobbysherry View Post
    I'll be honest--- I don't get it?
    How is presenting as a cartoon female among other cartoon characters satisfying?

    This kind of stuff gets written here a lot.

    You don't need to 'get it'. Just like the public might not 'get' us but accept us. People have different needs, fulfilled differently.


    Quote Originally Posted by docrobbysherry View Post
    The photos I post r actually of me.
    Everyone could use that against anyone. It's just a question of where you stop. Different people set their boundary at different places. Real hair'ers could use it against wig users, no makeup'ers could use it against makeup users, no padders could use it against padders, etc.

    Ironically, I have argued like this in the past in favour of you .



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  6. #6
    Member Mermaiden's Avatar
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    Sounds fun. I haven?t played Role Player Games, or any computer games for a long long time, but I used to like choosing a female warrior, usually an archer, as my avatar. I?m sure the VR stuff is way more fun.

  7. #7
    Gender adventurer JamieG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robertacd View Post
    I have played around with an HTC Vive VR setup at the local Makerspace.

    Sure it's cool, but unless you look in a mirror in the game you are still you.

    So I don't see how the VR aspect really adds much.

    Might as well be playing Second Life...

    Speaking of Second Life they have a "VR Second Life" called Sensar
    Many people describe Rec Room as a VR Second Life, so you're not wrong there. I think the difference is the sense of "being there." When you are playing on a flat screen and look around, you realize you are not "there." When you look down, you see your hands on a keyboard. In VR, the only way to "leave" the virtual world is to remove the headset.

    Quote Originally Posted by docrobbysherry View Post
    I'll be honest--- I don't get it?
    How is presenting as a cartoon female among other cartoon characters satisfying?

    How is that better than being a closet dresser and presenting as a female on your own FB Page? At least, I'm thot to be female by about 1/2 the 2 to 5 daily Friend requests on FB. The photos I post r actually of me. If hand picked. And, 90% of the folks who contact me post real photos of themselves.
    Of course, it is no where near being in the real world. Although I haven't been out as often as you, you know I've had my fair share of real life experiences. But these days with a preteen and teen in the house, I rarely get time to myself. And I'm at the point now where I just don't find dressing halfway worth it; unless I get 2-3 hours with everyone else out, I don't even bother. With Dance Central, I can pop it on and dance to a few tunes en femme for 10 minutes. It gets me a quick fix.

    But more importantly, there are things we can't change in real life that we can change in VR. Maybe someone wants to be shorter or skinnier. I'm a pretty skinny guy, but in the last few years I've been getting a dad gut. Seeing my avatar mimicking my moves in the mirror makes it seem like it really is me with that impossibly thin waist, wide hips, and cute little belly button. As for the cartoon aspect, that is part design choice and part the limitations of the Oculus Quest, which as a stand-alone VR system, uses a cell phone processor. Computer processors get better every year: games will become more photo-realistic over time. I wouldn't be surprised if in five years you can feed in a few photos of yourself, and have a digitally constructed avatar that looks like the real you. Maybe you would be able to modify this avatar to look more like your ideal self: changing gender, weight, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimdl93 View Post
    Sounds interesting, cept for the dancing part...I would earn no respect there. I am curious about second life... which I guess isn?t quite VR but more of a simulation.
    I wouldn't worry so much about the dancing. You just have to follow along with the character dancing in front of you. The better you do, the higher score you get, but I don't think the game will insult you if you do poorly. Also, if you are struggling with a dance, there's a studio you can go to and practice it: selecting certain moves and slowing them down as needed.
    Last edited by JamieG; 12-30-2019 at 06:50 PM. Reason: fixed a few typos

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    3dxchat User JuliaGirl's Avatar
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    I have considered exploring VR as I occasionally play in Second Life, and also frequently in 3dxchat (which support Oculus Rift in either 3rd or 1st person views). The problem with the later (at least for me) is there is a heavy focus on sex as opposed to friendships in game, vs SL. I play it very much for the friendships. I am curious what VR will bring to the table in the OPs point of view, it will be interesting moving forward to see what social experiences translate well, cross dressing may be one of them.
    Closeted for 45 years, so please take any advice I might offer with a massive dose of reality.
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  9. #9
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    It could be fun if your into playing games like that. I tried it once and it felt a bit restrictive and kind of claustrophobic. That is only my experience with it.

  10. #10
    Member Tina June's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I do not game, or use VR, and won't invest in all the toys - but it does sound like fun!

  11. #11
    Aspiring Member Pumped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lydianne View Post
    Everyone could use that against anyone. It's just a question of where you stop. Different people set their boundary at different places. Real hair'ers could use it against wig users, no makeup'ers could use it against makeup users, no padders could use it against padders, etc.
    How much of you body to you cover and/or alter and still be you?
    No offense to Doc, but I don't get the full suit with head and all, but similar to what you said, where do you draw that line? Only that person can with how they feel comfortable. After all pretty much all of us all put on a disguise to some degree.

  12. #12
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    I would try it if I didn't have vertigo and motion sickness.
    I can't go to a movie theater without motion sickness ruining my night.
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  13. #13
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    I prefer reality reality. I guess for girls who are determined to never actually go out, but want to know what it’s like this might be something useful maybe? I’m just cringing at the thought of all those girls wasting time plugged into a machine when they could be using that time to practice their presentation so they can get comfortable enough to actually go out.

    I wouldn’t recommend this to trans people, as this seems like it wouldn’t really do anything to encourage them to live authentically. There’s enough CDers and trans people hiding in their homes with the curtains drawn.

  14. #14
    1.#QNaN Lydianne's Avatar
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    I probably should make a topic-comment:

    There were two things I noted when I read the OP and then read Doc's reply. The first one was Jamie's avatar; so clearly she does dress for real, and that whole thing about actuality of self, well,... ladies & gentlemen: Exhibit 'A' . Anyway, she has since further confirmed that she has also had outdoor experience; so that confirmed to me that she wasn't mentioning VR as her only form of expression but as an option in addition to more conventional expressions that she and most here do.

    The second one was that I have read here that some have drawn value from 'Second Life', and it sounds as though VR would provide a related experience. So if VR happens to fulfill a need for you, you could be sat next to the most vehemently opposed of SO who does not allow you to do anything, you could put on a headset and draw value during times of few & far between opportunity... especially if the available apps get more and more realistic looking, as the OP said.

    I don't do it, but I can envision potential.

    - L.

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    Hi Jamie,

    I have VR, I use oculus rift, and I am a bit of an ex gamer. I tried a while back to find a good VR game to show a fem version of me but failed. Technology seems so advanced but we are just not there yet with a decent VR game where you can truely see yourself realistically. I too am very interested for the near future though.

    To answer one of the other posts as to why would you want to do it, I thought its obvious. Playing games are fun, VR is awesome and fun, seeing yourself as a women in VR is only going to add to the fun.

  16. #16
    Gender adventurer JamieG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lydianne View Post
    I probably should make a topic-comment:

    There were two things I noted when I read the OP and then read Doc's reply. The first one was Jamie's avatar; so clearly she does dress for real, and that whole thing about actuality of self, well,... ladies & gentlemen: Exhibit 'A' . Anyway, she has since further confirmed that she has also had outdoor experience; so that confirmed to me that she wasn't mentioning VR as her only form of expression but as an option in addition to more conventional expressions that she and most here do.

    The second one was that I have read here that some have drawn value from 'Second Life', and it sounds as though VR would provide a related experience. So if VR happens to fulfill a need for you, you could be sat next to the most vehemently opposed of SO who does not allow you to do anything, you could put on a headset and draw value during times of few & far between opportunity... especially if the available apps get more and more realistic looking, as the OP said.

    I don't do it, but I can envision potential.

    - L.
    Thanks for the thoughtful comments and defense, Lydianne. You get my point: VR is potentially another way to experience gender. Especially for young people who don't yet have the ability to buy clothes and makeup or anyone who simply hasn't mustered the courage to step outside yet, it could be another step along the path to self-acceptance. And although I've had the good fortune to socialize en femme many times - from TG support groups, to TG parties, to outings among the "muggles" with fellow TG folks, to solo excursions among the muggles -- I still find some potential value in the relative ease it provides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maria_mtf View Post
    Hi Jamie,

    I have VR, I use oculus rift, and I am a bit of an ex gamer. I tried a while back to find a good VR game to show a fem version of me but failed. Technology seems so advanced but we are just not there yet with a decent VR game where you can truely see yourself realistically. I too am very interested for the near future though.
    Great to meet another VR fan. I don't have a powerful enough PC for PC VR, so I make do between my PSVR and Oculus Quest. Sometime we'll have to chat about favorite VR games, although that would be off topic for this thread.

    In terms of finding a good experience for our community, I think part of it is the technology, but also the market. There simply aren't very many TG folks, and there aren't many VR users, and if this thread is any indication the intersection is infinitesimal. I have some computing chops and sometimes dream of building my own TG VR experience, but I neither have a good idea or the time.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Ceera's Avatar
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    For me, Second Life was a way to do ‘virtual cross dressing’, when I had not yet accepted that I had a need to step out the front door in real life as a woman. I was able to enjoy a wide range of feminine activities, from shopping for clothes and hairstyles, to flirting and having social interactions. Within the limits which I set - where all involved had to understand and agree that any intimate situations my avatar got into were strictly for entertainment, between our avatars, and not to cross over into real life - I could even explore what more intimate relations might be like as a woman.

    I understand that with an Oculus Rift headset or similar, Second Life can give you enhanced visuals. But I never was willing to pay for the expensive VR headsets.

    While actually going out as a woman into the real world is much more fun, VR settings like Second Life allowed me to explore interacting and communicating as a woman, in a safe and protected way.

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    I have a lot of experience working in the VR and AR sector and can say there will be great opportunities for cross gender expression and awareness.

    Because you experience VR from a first person perspective, you can only see arms, legs, torso without looking in a mirror (just like real life). But one can have great fun with virtual mirrors and dress up. I have used one app made for improv acting that allows you to dress in costumes and see yourself in a mirror on a stage.

    And others can see ?you? in social apps.

    The other issue has been a lack of full body tracking since only the headset and hand controllers are now tracked. So, the software has to interpret what the rest of your body may be doing. With improved cameras we are now seeing hand tracking which should be transferable to tracking other body parts visible to the cameras.

    This is true for AR too where ?magic mirrors? can let you try on clothes and makeup virtually. And there have been threads here about the Snap and other gender changing apps.

    There are also adult apps that let you change point of view and gender of participants.

    As has been commented on, the processing power of the computer or VR system impacts how realistic or cartoony the characters are. That is improving. And we can reach very realistic looking virtual avatars. Those can be developed from photos and scans or real people however they are presenting during the scans/photos.

    There have also been academic experiments in which participants have been able to gender swap with their significant other by mirroring each others? movements in real time and seeing your partner as yourself.

    Also, there have been empathy and awareness training experiences that let you experience sexual harassment and stereotyping from different perspectives.

    Beyond gaming, VR will enable any experience you can have in real life and many difficult or impossible in real life. So, whatever you want to experience while presenting as the other gender will also be possible.

  19. #19
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    Hi Jamie , The dancing part should fall right in line with you with your background in dancing.

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    Member AllyCDTV's Avatar
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    I've been involved in VR to some degree now for about 25 years. Anybody remember VRML? While I've marveled at its potential, for me it's remained just that, potential. Sadly, I just can't get past the low quality of the graphics. That should change eventually but I have not seen it change enough for me in 25 years. The technology I prefer for now is telepresence, as in video chat. Still, there are issues with that too and it is definitely not for everybody.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuliaGirl View Post
    I have considered exploring VR as I occasionally play in Second Life, and also frequently in 3dxchat (which support Oculus Rift in either 3rd or 1st person views). The problem with the later (at least for me) is there is a heavy focus on sex as opposed to friendships in game, vs SL. I play it very much for the friendships. I am curious what VR will bring to the table in the OPs point of view, it will be interesting moving forward to see what social experiences translate well, cross dressing may be one of them.
    For people who are not good at socializing, VR is definitely a blessing, not only helping us to enrich our free time, but also getting some practice.
    Last edited by char GG; 01-15-2020 at 11:01 PM. Reason: TMI

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