#564: The Gift Economy Dynamics of ‘Anyland’ + Social VR Anecdotes

stephanie-mendozaAnyland is a social VR experience focusing on worldbuilding and avatar creation tools that allow you to create interactive experiences while in VR. They’ve also implemented an open sharing feature that makes it easy to collect objects from the world and share them with other people. Stephanie Mendoza is a VR developer and artist who has spent a lot of time creating worlds and exploring the gift economy dynamics within Anyland, and I had a chance to capture some of her stories and social experiments. She talks about the social status that comes with discovering bugs and glitches, documenting her adventures of agency expression and interactions with trolls, and how VR has been helping her have lucid dreams that have featured Anyland’s worldbuilding user interfaces.


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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to The Voices of VR Podcast. So on today's episode, I'm going to be doing a deep dive into any land with Stephanie Mendoza, who has been spending quite a lot of time into this social VR experience. So IndieLand is a place where you can go in and do your own world building and create your own avatars, and it's very easy to share objects with each other. So there's a bit of this gift economy that happens between people who've created different objects, they've collected them, and they're able to exchange them and create this gift economy. Stephanie also talks about the culture of bug hunting within Anyland, so trying to find glitches in the experience that are fun and amusing, that give you different god-like powers, and also how Anyland's been changing how she's been dreaming and doing different lucid dreams based upon these experiences of agency that she's had within Anyland. So that's what we'll be covering on today's episode of the Voices in VR podcast. So this interview with Stephanie happened in Portland, Oregon on June 9th, 2017. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:18.271] Stephanie Mendoza: Hi, my name is Stephanie Mendoza. I was a VR developer, and I still consider myself a virtual reality artist. But for the last half year, I guess I've been dedicating most of my time to exploring social VR experiences, particularly Anyland, for reasons of agency and freedom.

[00:01:36.896] Kent Bye: So maybe you could describe to me, what is it about Anyland that has drawn you to be able to explore that world over the other ones?

[00:01:45.333] Stephanie Mendoza: So Anyland, first off, is a German game made by two developers who I'm not even sure have a company or an LLC. I mean, I'm sure they do. But the fact that it's so indie is one of the largest draws because I am not expecting the same sort of privacy and security fears that I would with, say, an experience that was developed by a much larger American publicly traded company. whose main goal is to profit. So number one, I feel safe in Anyland to a certain extent, about as safe as you feel in digital spaces. Number two, as I mentioned earlier, is agency and freedom. Anyland is currently the only virtual reality experience that allows anybody who enters it to create instantly without any previous development experience, be it in 3D or programming. Both are skills that I have and have spent a very large portion of my life developing, but just the ease of creation alone has allowed me to do way more in the last half year than, well, I wouldn't say my entire development career, but it is surprisingly rapid and the thought process that comes with it, the creative process is what has expanded by a magnitude since I've started developing in a space that I can actually inhabit with my creation. And more importantly, that I can create with others collaboratively, so I may not be the best programmer. You don't have to be the best programmer to be able to script what you need in any land, but because you're not the best programmer, because that's not your main focus, you don't think that way. You don't think like a programmer. You may think like an artist, or you may think like an anthropologist, you know, someone who studied the humanities. But you can easily collaborate with someone else in that space who does think like a programmer, who does think like a visual artist, or who does think about like creating social environments as a whole. People with like various leadership skills that can bring that in, but act more as just another creative agent rather than like a hierarchical system where there's like a business person who's got some investment to like ordering everyone around to do this and that. It's very collaborative. One of the things that really, really draws me to any land I guess the third big thing is that the fact that you can copy anything in the world and put it in your pocket in your inventory and no one can prevent you from doing that means that it's very difficult to come up with a concept of a market. It's very difficult to come up with traditional market economics. I wouldn't even say traditional, but the kind of market economics that exists in the world outside. And when you can spend large amounts of your actual physical presence in spaces that aren't driven by money, and that aren't driven by social structures that have been created by money over the last couple thousands of years that we've been using this market-based system, and especially with the hyper-capitalism that we have. I wouldn't even call it capitalism in the United States, where even, I guess, family values are, to a certain extent, being driven by market. I thought the ability to escape that even temporarily is, you know, it used to be you'd have to go to Burning Man to escape it, to see it for a little while and allow your mind to sink into it. But now, now I can pay 40 bucks a month at my local hackerspace and access virtual reality. I am not an owner of any of these products. I'm not rich by any means. I mean, I work for the cannabis industry. The secure feeling, the freedom that I have, and the escape of our current market-based economics is what really draws me to Anyland specifically. I've noticed that High Fidelity has implemented sort of a synthetic market. Even the word marketplace in these spaces is, I think, highly unnecessary, and it invokes this idea that there will be this sort of, like, real-world economic exchange that makes no sense when you have a space where everything is, like, easily replicable, and there's no need for this sort of, like, financial exchange. There's no need for ownership. I think if you were raised in, like, some sort of ancient tribal society where everyone owned everything and there was no concept of like your personal property but rather you're allocated and you're like sort of keeping an eye on these objects and you don't even have to do that anymore because you were like doing it for the integrity of the object so other people could use it later and it wouldn't be destroyed by someone who would take it out therefore enforcing responsibility now you don't even have to enforce that responsibility we can easily go back to that without saying that that doesn't fit into our current world it actually is a product of our current world which is I think very neat.

[00:06:01.537] Kent Bye: Yeah, so I did this interview recently with Cory Doctorow where he wrote this book called Walk Away, which the theme of the story was that people who walk away from the current market-based economies and create this gift economy, because in the story they have 3D printing that reaches the level of abundance that you would see in a digital world. He made the point that the things that are most valuable and popular are the things that are the most easily accessible. And in a gift economy, the things that are popular are easy to get a hold of. And so there's a certain value around that abundance that comes. And so for you, it sounds like you've been able to kind of live in this type of gift economy culture. So I'm just curious what type of experiences you've had in that and maybe some anecdotes or stories that really stand out.

[00:06:46.248] Stephanie Mendoza: So I'd like to, for Anyland specifically, I'd like to mention the Telecookie. So the Telecookie is an object. It's not quite a meme, though there are memes about the Telecookie, but it is essentially a chocolate chip cookie with purple sparkles that if you ingest, if your avatar ingests, it allows you to be heard all over the world, no matter where you are. If you decided to fly off like 500 kilometers into space, and I'm still on the ground talking with someone, I can still hear your voice perfectly clear. This telecookie has reiterated itself into many, many objects. Now there are telecookie guns that emit telecookies into your mouth, so you can just easily shoot them into your friend's mouth every time you teleport from one world to another, because every time you do that, you lose that ability. But if you eat another cookie, you regain that ability, and the cookies are infinite. Like, imagine if that cookie was not easily replicable, or if it was like, you know, something that some current industry decided they wanted to defend their product from like Napster and it's just like copying and pasting audio files. It forces this false scarcity. I think that since we're present in this space and since this is actually an object and our brains have always been trained around objects as opposed to 2D static files that we're trying to explain to our parents or just data. I think that when we show them an actual CD, and I copy it, and I give it to you, and it's like, here, put it in your pocket, and you put it in your pocket, and you go give it to your friends, and it's like, oh, oh, that's what we were dealing with? Oh, crap, so we just outlawed sharing. And it starts to really dawn on people when they're in a space. Another anecdote I wanna get into is around the concept of bugs and bug hunting, because that's becoming a prominent sort of source of revenue for people who are into penetration testing and security. I mean, these really awesome presentations at hacker conferences like TorCon and like DefCon and whatnot about like different bug hunting techniques. But in any land, the bugs actually have a physical or not physical, but they have a form, right? So a couple of bugs that I've encountered, actually people make objects out of bugs, which I think is really neat. There's this one bug that is in the shape of a key. It's an exploitation that someone took advantage of when they realized that if they spammed certain commands onto an object, certain scripts onto an object, it would allow them to activate anything in the world regardless of what security layers people have put in place that previously prevented avatars from entering like secret vaults or even activating each other's suits to do specific actions. If you touch them with this key, all of a sudden it will cause all of the actions to go off at once. It will unlock that vault. this key is a bug, because that's not supposed to be doable in this space. And so the developer of Anyland, who I love very dearly, and I've actually met in Anyland, his name is Philip Lentzen. I remember watching a Let's Play where after every update, Philip Lentzen, the creator of the game, jumps into Anyland to have a discussion with whoever's playing, to ask them if they have any problems with the update, what they want to see next. And he actually tends to deliver. If people want to see materials on objects, because the objects used to not have materials, he's like, OK, I'll add materials to the game. And then, you know, a week later we have materials and all of a sudden the world's just become that much more complex because now I can add polka dots and rock textures to things. But someone, one of the Let's Players, was presented with this key by one of his friends in the game. He's like, check out this thing that Overvisor gave me. And he stabs him with the key, and all of a sudden his avatar just goes crazy. He's like, what? And he's like, yeah, this key unlocks anything. And so he duplicates the key. There are many, many people who own this key. You can't really get rid of the key unless you go to the source code and actually delete it. Only Philip has this problem. This is the thing that I think is hilarious about Endingland, is that it comes with a built-in god. And his name is Philip, and you can directly contact him through the stream message board. So that's just a side tangent. I could easily go on, but no.

[00:10:24.777] Kent Bye: Well, it sounds like there's a theme here of finding bugs that actually become some of the most compelling features in the world. And I've heard that in other social VR experiences where things glitch out. And it's something that you don't ever expect or have ever experienced before. But with these bugs, you have these experiences that you've never been able to have an embodied experience of that before. So what kind of emergent behaviors have you seen from those types of bugs or other things that you're able to do within any land that you don't get to experience in real life?

[00:10:53.767] Stephanie Mendoza: The people who find these bugs generally tend to command a little bit more respect. I don't know if it's enough respect to constitute like a hierarchy. I think it's like more of a like, holy crap, you have this really neat thing and it's not supposed to exist. And it's like this forbidden object. And so I think that there's always this sort of like lore that builds around. There's an attachment or like there's a draw towards forbidden objects which generally encourages, well first of all it introduces people to this idea of bug hunting who have never like really been engaged in it before or never really even thought about it before and so when they find it they you know they'll write. They developed a scroll Initially before the key this was a little bit before the key and Philip asked them to write down any bugs and send them to him So as a sort of a joke or like a prank They built a parchment scroll that would unscroll and list all of the bugs and then they would hand fill up the list of bugs And they find ways to get goofy and creative and I wouldn't say quite trolly with it but You know, it's There's a lot of good humor that's coming out of these situations and a lot of people who then like want to help because they're aware that it's just him and this other guy named Scott who are building the game.

[00:12:10.057] Kent Bye: So you had a chance to give me a little bit of a tour of Anyland just this past week. And you mentioned to me that you actually had like a lucid dream where you felt like you were actually in Anyland. Maybe you could describe to me this experience of something where you kind of have this blurring of the line of lucid dreaming versus being in these virtual worlds.

[00:12:30.486] Stephanie Mendoza: Yeah, I've definitely noticed a little bit of definitely my dreams have shifted towards that and I'm not generally very aware of them. It's also causing like, to a certain extent, mild hallucinations if I stay up really late in any land and then I come out and it's like 3am and I'm like sitting at home on my laptop. and the tracking like stops sometimes when you're in any land and your hands go flying off in different directions and like I think through my peripheral vision I thought that my hand was flying off so that's one thing and then like when I go to bed or if I go to bed I do recall having that dream I was mildly lucid as you are generally in dreams and you kind of can't really remember it and it's fuzzy and you're not really aware and then I think somehow I wound up at the hackerspace or some I had some access to a virtual reality headset and I put it on and the moment I put it on yeah I went lucid immediately and I realized where I was and I'm like oh crap I'm in any land and I immediately opened up my user interface it was completely accurate and you know I would Or at least the default UI, but also the UI that I had on one of my avatars. And I pushed all the buttons and they worked, and I pushed all the buttons and I moved on the default interface and I jumped around the worlds. And I don't necessarily have a specific memory of the different worlds that I went into, but I also don't have that in real life just because there's so many and they are so different from each other. But I can recall spending a long period of time creating abstract forms and that those forms were completely recreatable in any land if I were to like jump in and try to recreate it. The one thing that did not come back with me is the memory of what exactly I made. Which is generally pretty typical because you can't bring back like those amazing songs or paintings and you can't eat at those exquisite banquets. You just have this memory of being really really hungry when you wake up or like I have to make this thing now. You're like sort of on a like morning mission that maybe will last the day and maybe will last the week and then you might be the lucky owner of like a dream object. In any land I'd imagine that that's much easier But I'm honestly just waiting for my next any land dream to see how much further I can push this Maybe I can be a yeah, what's the word for a dream astronaut like?

[00:14:45.449] Kent Bye: Well, they call them lucid dreaming or psychonauts would be sort of like yeah psychonauts So you showed me that you were working on sort of like this comic book, which was aggregating highlights and stories from Anyland. And the thing that I took away from that was that sometimes some of the most compelling interactions that you have in these virtual worlds are with the other people that are there, and you're embodied in these different avatars, and it kind of evokes different behavior that you're able to do things or become different things in your fantasies that you've never been able to live out before, but you're able to actually have some embodied experiences. So I guess I'm curious to hear some of those most memorable moments that you had within Anyland in terms of these interactions that you've had with other people in this virtual world.

[00:15:32.327] Stephanie Mendoza: Alright, yeah so I started the comic book initially to decompress because the experiences that I was having were very intense and I have friends who like they'll play for a while and they have to stop because they just like get overcome with this I'm not sure if it's fear or what but they just like they suddenly feel super repulsed by it and then they have to like they spend a little time away from it and they just like immediately come back because they had some idea and they're like oh I've just got to do it. And I'm starting to make a lot of friends that are transitioning worlds that I've met in there initially. The comic book covers a little bit of that, but it mainly documents my time in social VR. And I think that the comic book form helps to explain what it is exactly because when I try to talk to people about it when I tell them these stories they are so fantastical it sounds like I'm explaining a dream or I could actually be explaining the dream but it sounds like I'm explaining the dream or it sounds like I'm talking about some crazy superhero experience where I've got all these powers and so that translates really well to comic books because comic books have always been about superheroes and they've always been about having powers and you know I have that experience that a lot of anime characters have when they're like teenagers and they just got their powers and they're trying to figure out how to tell their parents about it but their parents just don't understand and their friends just don't understand and so this is like I gotta tell somebody so I'll just tell whoever you know and whoever understands they'll just message me back and we'll have a really long dialogue because I need people to talk to about this. So the comic book, there's one experience that I had with the Overvisor. He's a friend of mine in there. I've never met him in person, but he was talking about the military and he was talking about realms of total fidelity. a world that he could completely escape from the real world into, and this is his goal. And I had never actually met someone who was so dedicated to that. There's always people with skepticism and fear, but not this guy. He was ready for it, and he's actively encouraging it. And honestly, I don't think he's the only one, but he is the only one who I've ever talked to. He is a character of the web. but when we were talking we were in a world called Nightmare where there was lightning and storms and like caves and demons in the forest and I actually was also previously talking to the creator of the world called Nightmare. Nightmare is part of a like larger RPG that's being developed from within Anyland that you could play in with your avatar and like using special items. It's like someone redeveloped Doom in Anyland and so you can play Doom in VR in Anyland with your like crazy Crystal Fox avatar on or if you want to be like Nibbler from Futurama, you can go play Doom as Nibbler, or you could play Howl's Game. And if you play Howl's Game, you'll meet other people and you might meet the Overvisor. But the Overvisor trips me out every time I talk to him. The last conversation that we were having, which was also going to be documented in the comic book, the previous one in Nightmare is also documented in the comic book, where he is discussing those high-fidelity worlds, but the We'll be talking about CRISPR and I'll introduce him to new ideas or new technologies in biotech and we'll go on these long, very, very thought out discussions. It's like, here's this guy who I imagine spends all of his time on the computer and on the internet and he doesn't have, he's actually admitted to me that he doesn't have much social contact outside of VR and outside of any land especially. He's the kind of person who has the time and I guess the resources to just think about these concepts and he's he talks about them as if they're inevitable and almost as if there's no point in trying to change that and Like I said these conversations with him are unlike anything that I have with people in person Especially living in Portland, Oregon where there's this huge concern for the planet huge concern for humanity and fairness and and he's a 4chan troll He doesn't care about any of that And if he does, he doesn't let off on it. He actually will let off on the opposite and tell me, he's like, I'm a very unemotional human. So if I bug you, I'm sorry, but I can't do anything about it. And I'm like, dude, you don't bug me. I grew up with people like you. It's OK. This is a pretty contrast to the first story that's at the very beginning of my comic book where I put my friend in Anyland and he didn't realize he was an ice cream cone and the first person that he met was also a guy who was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat and this was literally the day after the inauguration. And my friend had been like just kind of joking around trolling us about this like the entire year. It's like uh-huh that's never gonna happen and then it happened. And so he's in here and he sees this guy and I'm like you have a pistol in your pocket. And he's like oh okay yes. So he takes a really deep breath after like having like really casual conversation. It's like oh hey nice hat you got there. And the guy's like thanks I made it myself. He then takes that deep breath and he yells, KAAA! Which is their new favorite word, I guess, on the alt-right. Or, not new, but it's one of their favorite words. And then he just starts, like, loading bullets into this dude with this, like, goofy fake gun. That guy pulls his Glock out, and they're just, like, shooting at each other across this music hall with, like, drums and pianos and stuff. And the keys are being, like, activated, and they're just, like, ching-ching-ching-ching-ching. And the world is just, like, boom-boom-boom. And then eventually my friend, I'm like, hey, you've got a bazooka and like all this other random stuff too. And so he pulls out his inventory and then they just kind of like go. and that story's not that interesting. That's definitely less interesting than the Overvisor story. The other ones are just like really strange. It's like it was my birthday. I have a couple of like one-off panels where it was my birthday and like I hadn't really done anything all day which was kind of the goal and then at the end of the day I felt kind of lonely because none of my friends were in town and I just was like screw it I'm gonna go into Anyland and so I go into Anyland I'm like yeah it's Screw it, it's my birthday, I'm gonna be a T-Rex, so I made myself a T-Rex. And then I found the one other person who was in the game, who was also a friend of mine, and I found him, and he builds a world called the future. His name is Choates in there, and he's a robot, and he claims to be much older than everyone else who plays the game. He's just like a really wonderful character. So I blip into the future as this T-Rex and I'm like, hey, Choates, what's up? And he just like falls over laughing. And so I get to celebrate the end of my birthday in the future as a T-Rex with a robot. You know, I've never done that before.

[00:22:05.957] Kent Bye: So for you, what do you want to experience in VR?

[00:22:09.553] Stephanie Mendoza: Oh, I mean, I feel like I've already got a lot of that. And so now I'm trying to see what else I can make VR do. So right now, the most engaging thing to me is the fact that I can feel like neurons making new connections in my brain really fast. And I haven't had that feeling in a very long time, like since taking undergrad courses on art and technology and like really specific topics like that. I felt it really, really powerfully in Google Earth, but Anyland is just causing me to create. First of all, it's like you just get to the point where you've created everything you've ever wanted. I wanted to be a dragon since ever, and I finally got to be one, and still do sometimes. But you know, that's that's really frivolous and like kind of goofy It goes from dragon to you wanting to use this technology bring other people in there and then bring other specialists in there not just in VR but like say specialists in civics specialists in law and in other other elements that could help potentially prototype new societies and new ways of being that can then integrate back into old societies and help us subvert Systems that don't make sense anymore or not even subvert but just evolve from evolve out of you know Just figure out what do we actually need and which of these influences and controls actually matter? You know how much of it is just as bogus as it's like, you know, this weird cookie cannon that I've got maybe more so But yeah, so that's what I'm interested in seeing is that transition out from virtual spaces back into reality and making things seem more like, you know, oh, I never left Burning Man. This is starting to finally manifest in the real world. I see it kind of happening here in Portland, but much less so around the country. I want to help encourage these things. I'm actively encouraging these things with people and just awakening them to this idea that there is an alternative gets them very excited and gets them thinking in a way that they normally would have denied and said no it's impossible but it's not anymore it's not that situation so I'm very fascinated with where this is going to go. Fascinated more than optimistic but still optimistic.

[00:24:18.136] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think is kind of the ultimate potential of virtual reality and what it might be able to enable?

[00:24:27.665] Stephanie Mendoza: Probably a lot of what I just said. But then there's this whole idea of like the whole simulation theory. One of the things that this has got me really diving into more than I have in the past is like ancient southeastern philosophy. The idea of avatars being a really old concept, something that Vishnu and Shiva would manifest as in order to save the world from some sort of like demon malpractice, like some terrible state of mind or being. I've been thinking a lot about like reincarnation and I've been thinking about, you know, different levels of reality. I've been considering whether or not I exist in more than one dimension because I'm well aware that I kind of activate that and can prove it. And so what can I activate or what is already active that I can't prove but maybe just have a really strong feeling towards. And so I think that when more people engage on this level of thinking that like that are just coming from a place of actual grounding that they can always like sort of fall back towards when they get questioned and ridiculed by other communities who don't quite understand what they're talking about or where these thoughts are coming from. I think that that grounding is really important and I think that we'll be able to like I guess at least elevate our own conscious mind away from like this sort of onslaught of depression that's plaguing Western society. It's not something that I necessarily get unless it's like really gray and cloudy because it's the Northwest and It's a really bad feeling but God I mean to imagine people living with this and maybe finding some source of relief from it That isn't pharmaceuticals, but something that's more permanent I think that that's what we can bring forward and when maybe people are less depressed and we can you know when there's a little bit more vitality in the world then we can actually start to really engage with things on a on another level What did you mean that you could prove that you may exist in different dimensions? Oh, no, I was saying that I can prove that I exist in two dimensions because I'm in a third-dimensional world here and I'm in a two-dimensional simulation of a third-dimensional world when I'm in any land and I'm directly manipulating that with my three-dimensional self. I feel like I'm in an entanglement state. It's been getting me thinking about quantum entanglement a lot, not necessarily I mean just using it as sort of a metaphor for me existing in three spaces at once and being hyper aware of that because I've been existing in like millions of spaces at once probably even right now you know just with the fact that my phone is connected to me in my pocket but like say I'm in a room and it's me and like the server and then whoever I'm in the room with so be it like Choates or Overvisor or my friends here in Portland even if they're just down the street at the artist collective that I work out of I still feel like I'm superimposed with them and we're all just like, and we are, we are very connected as this like one data set, one very complex data set. And then I come out of that and I have to drive down like two miles to actually see my friend who I was just in the room with. It establishes this disconnection, but then it also allows me to consider a deeper connection. I felt like I was there in that alternate presence when I was in that two-dimensional state. I felt like I had been returned to some other thing that is this deeper connection to everything that I am constantly feeling and constantly aware of. Even if for some reason I lost, then I would probably sink into a depressive state. But when you bring it up in that space or within that context it just like it reignites that and so I think that's maybe what I'm considering is that like I feel like I'm somewhere else when I'm here present like in front of this microphone, you know made out of matter, you know, I think You'd have similar feeling when you're like on psychedelics so maybe that's as far as that exploration is capable of getting until that stuff gets legalized and maybe we can like really take a deep dive and scientifically into the mind, but let's start with VR first, I guess, to get people used to it. There's still a lot of people who are terrified of VR.

[00:28:32.380] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

[00:28:34.182] Stephanie Mendoza: Thank you so much.

[00:28:36.004] Kent Bye: So that was Stephanie Mendoza. She's a VR developer and a creator within Anyland. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that first of all, I think it's really interesting to hear Stephanie talk about how any land feels like this Burning Man vibe in the sense that there's this emerging gift economy that is happening within any land. I also think that there's a little bit of this balance that's needed in terms of having a combination of yin and yang currencies. The thing that I wonder is with the recent closing of Altspace VR, where they didn't have any revenue model in place, they eventually went out of business. Now Altspace had like 37 different employees. They raised like $15 million. AnyLand on the other hand is like done by a couple of developers. It's a very independently driven project. I think it's a little bit of an open question of how they're going to eventually monetize or make AnyLand sustainable. They used to charge about $10 for AnyLand, but at this moment it's currently free to play, so you're able to just play it. I think in the future what I expect to see is that there's going to be some combination of the competitive and cooperative types of currencies. So with AnyLand, that cooperative Yen currency of being able to freely share different objects and things with each other, I think that's very cool that that is kind of developing outside of any traditional marketplace. And the competition, I think, will come in in terms of what are people going to be willing to pay for, and how is this going to be a sustainable venture? Because the developers are having to host and pay all the different server fees, and so it's costing them money out of pocket. So I think that that's great for the short term, but in the long term, there has to be some sort of viable revenue stream. Otherwise, it's just going to go away. So I'll be curious to see how they end up trying to bring in different revenue streams within this experience. With other experiences like Fidelity and Project Sandstar, they have either a sales tax or a property tax, and there doesn't seem to be either within any land right now. So it's actually a great opportunity to go experiment and play around. And to me, it feels like the low poly tools feels very similar to what you might be able to create in Google's new blocks sculpting program. At this point, there's no way to import objects outside of any land. Anything that's in any land was created within any land and scripted within any land. So it's VR that was created within VR. Also really fascinating to hear about this culture of bug hunting within any land where you have these edge case bugs that end up being some of the most valuable objects that people have to be able to kind of glitch out the different system. And I've heard that from other social VR in terms of different glitches that give these totally unexpected behaviors that tend to be just very delightful. I think the thing that Anyland is doing really correct is really focusing on that user agency of empowering you to build worlds and to create avatars and to put them on you directly and to just really have an opportunity to express your identity, but also just create these different worlds that you can share with each other or copy your world and modify it, remix it in different ways. And because the world is so focused on high agency, then you tend to have this dynamic where when people are interacting with each other, they end up just kind of like shooting or almost like trolling each other, like Stephanie shared in her example. I think that it's almost like an environment where people are consenting to that level of play. So Stephanie had also shared with me other just different strategies of dealing with people when she gets trolled is give different objects that start to glitch out the experience for both people, which the defense to getting trolled is to kind of break the experience for everybody. Or just having a very high tolerance for environments that are expressing very high agency. One of my personal favorite experiences within Anyland is LLVR's Venn Math Museum. It's just a great example of embodied cognition and being able to walk through a Venn diagram of different mathematical concepts. And that was done by Vi Hart and Mai Fleur. And we talked about that back in episode 515. So definitely check out the Venn Museum within Anyland. So that's all that I have for today. Just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends, and consider becoming a member of the Patreon. I just got back from SIGGRAPH last week, and as well as the Institute of Noetic Sciences conference, talking about consciousness and virtual reality, lots of discussions about the philosophical implications of VR, So I'm going to be doing a bit of a live stream and probably a gathering within Social VR here within the next couple of weeks. So sign up to the Patreon to get more information and details on that. This podcast is listener supported, so any support that you're able to give will help continue the coverage that I'm bringing you here within the VR community. So you can become a member today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.

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