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@ -37,6 +37,10 @@ Perhaps the sense of speed and timing is an important factor in building online
The three-dimensionality of VR space also seems to have potential to recreate chance meetings and build a sense of community that way. Unlike 'ticky tacky' apps where everyone is crowded into one virtual space together, it gives more agency for users to break off, navigate around independently, and start their own conversations as they would in the real world. Organisers can play a role to encourage users to break the ice and get chatting by providing activities or more structured social time.
![Paula Gazzard attending one of the Network Music Festival's algoraves]({static}/images/breaking-out-of-boxes.jpg)
<small>Paula Gazzard attending one of the Network Music Festival's algoraves</small>
While the arrival of vaccines offers the prospect of a return to normal life, the climate crisis means that virtual activities are likely to remain a significant part of events of the future. This pandemic has also emphasised how online conferences can bring together people around the world, enabling collaborations and meetings that would simply not have been possible otherwise.
The future of online community building will likely take a combination of approaches. ICLC, for example, has an associated email list and also does VR events, allowing for both slower community building through the email list, and chance encounters with people at concerts. Ultimately, the combination of communication and shared experience are how communities are built. Events like AMRO and the Network Music Festival have tended to prioritise intensive experiences, previously relying on participants to make their own connections. As we solve the problem of how to facilitate those, we help fight isolation, help the climate and build our communities.


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