To read | 9min
France Télévisions launches its first immersive social space with Stade 2
The Digital Innovation Department and the Sports Department of France Televisions open the doors to a new virtual world dedicated to Stade 2 and sports on the social VR platform VRChat. We invite you to join, alone or in groups, to discover the virtual studio of Stade 2 and sports games in virtual reality created especially for the occasion.
English version to come
First step towards the Metaverse?
Beyond the buzzword, the topic of the Metavers has become widely popular over the past year, especially after the GAFAM announcements. And, although the subject is still very prospective and nebulous, the teams of the Innnovation Department of France Télévisions are closely following the new technologies associated with the Metaverse today: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Avatars, Web 3.0, blockchain...
This motivated the teams to ponder the question of the place and role of a public broadcaster within the ecosystem that is developing around this word Metaverse, and to imagine a first concrete test of an Immersive Social Space open to the public in order to measure its appetence for this new kind of format.
Given all the constraints of real-time streaming and the limited performance of standalone headsets, this represents a real technical challenge to make it accessible to as many people as possible, while the infrastructures prefiguring future Metaverses are still in their infancy.
Stade 2 immersive social space
An immersive social space is a virtual world, in three dimensions and accessible in virtual reality, in which users can, in the form of an avatar, interact with each other and with the world, discuss, play, share content... We decided that the theme of this first test would be "Sport", which allows communities to come together and experience great moments of emotion, such as in FanZones. We wanted users to be able to find this emotion and fervor wherever they are, thanks to virtual reality. It was therefore quite natural for us and the Sports Department to choose Stade 2 and its virtual studio (created by France Télévisions' Real Time Graphics unit) as the starting point for our immersive space, in order to create a link between France Télévisions' linear programs and this new service.
The simplest solution to allow the largest number of people to discover this virtual world is to host it on one of the most popular social VR platform on the internet: VRChat. In addition to its growing community and its ease of access (the platform is free and available on PC and most VR headsets), VRChat provides tools on the real-time 3D engine Unity to quickly put online virtual worlds and create custom interactions, or even entire games in these worlds. To develop the Stade 2 world, we called upon VRrOOm, a company that knows the subject very well and has developed many such spaces for various occasions.
About VRrOOm :
VRrOOm is a French company specialized in the creation of virtual worlds for the metaverse dedicated to culture and entertainment, with the objective of giving audiences around the world the opportunity to attend any type of event and share moments together as if they were there - entertainment, arts, dance, theater, music, film, multimedia...
VRrOOm's productions allow people to meet, interact as avatars, and share unforgettable moments virtually via all available media, from the most innovative to the most traditional (VR, PC, online, TV, radio, etc.).
Presentation of the world
Users can, with their avatar, explore this world that uses the codes and visuals of gaming (although limited by the performance of standalone headsets), with the playful and immersive dimension particularly familiar to the young audience.
Here is the immersive space available on VRChat and accessible to the public on VR headsets (PC VR, Quest 1 & 2) and on PC. It features a replica of the Stade 2 studio redecorated in winter colors in a mountains and snowy forests setting.
The world offers three mini-games that everyone can play:
- The first is a treasure hunt in the forest where the player must find clues to open the door of the cabin and if he succeeds, discover a nice surprise!
- The second game is inspired by the biathlon and proposes downhill skiing and rifle shooting. Go as fast as you can between the gates and aim well for the best score possible!
- Finally, the third game for the bravest and most thrill-seeking is a bobsleigh run. Be as fast as you can!
The different games available
This ESI is also an opportunity for France Televisions to test new formats with 100% digital productions within this virtual world and our presenters as avatars. Indeed, in addition to the camera tool already available in VRChat allowing to realize content by oneself, VRrOOm has developed in a special and private version of the world camera tools worthy of a television control room. This allows an operator to film the studio and the presenters in several still or traveling shots, as in a classic production. New formats will be tested in the coming weeks thanks to these tools.
How to access it ?
This world is accessible on VR headsets (PC VR, Quest 1 & 2) and on PC. We invite you to discover it, either by using the search engine of VRChat by looking for the world "Stade 2" or if you are on PC you can also use the following link
An online questionnaire will soon be made available to you to evaluate this service and share your feedback and suggestions for improvement.