A conversation about robust virtual platforms wouldn't be complete without mentioning Final Fantasy XIV. First released in 2013, the MMO has grown to become a full-fledged experience, complete with the usual leveling fare and plenty of social offspin. When users aren't working to turn in quests, they can play at the Golden Saucer for various prizes, challenge one another to strategic card battles, engage in virtual photography, and attempt to beat out the real estate market for a place of their own. There's housing decor podcasts and virtual theatres that put on plays. There's roleplay taverns and fully functioning night clubs.
Enter Club Cyberia, a venue run by respective owner and manager Ichi Mew and Shoyu Ramen. The music culture project is laced in neon aesthetics, gorgeous fashion photography, and even engaging short videos on social media to breathe a lifestyle into the very club users are invited to attend. Lineups for the newly-minted locale have already featured the likes of Grimecraft and Machine Girl. Viewers who can't attend can watch the venue's Twitch channel, and enjoy the stream of tunes along with live footage of Cyberia's dance floor.
In addition to engaging media and entertainment, are accessible mods of existing in-game fashion for visitors to enjoy. With the right file installation from Cyberia's offerings, one can turn their normal gear into a special tank top or hoodie that sports the club's logo. In this light, Club Cyberia is a bit more than a hotspot for curated DJs to play at--it's an art project and experience, one everyone should visit at least once.
An in-game trip requires arriving early. I had already downloaded the FFXIV in advance, leveled to 15, and visited the Goblet-section residences with a specific quest so that I could return there in time. On the day of, I relaxed by the desert-style residential pool until I noticed patrons gathering by the club gate. We chatted away in a group and swapped outfits excitedly while waiting for the doors to open.
The staff arrived stylishly not long after. There were a gaggle of them, prettily dressed in black, with accessories that matched in such a way that they easily stood apart from visitors. Fanning out, they gave us individual greetings of decorative social gestures, kisses blown and adoring waves. It felt purposeful and grateful to mark our showing up here.
"Are you ready?" asked one of the club's dancers from the front steps. When we answered positively enough, the doors were thrown open and we were allowed to file inside.
A guestbook in the interior sits by the receptionist who will greet you. Give them a /bow, leave a note if you want, and you're in. You'll hear a clack of footsteps as you go down the stairs and into the main area. The Twitch stream runs separately and contains its own chat field, where people will watch you dance as you mill about and enjoy the evening. Notable are the camera switches on-stream that makes the night feel like a televised event. They show off small moments between users, funny dance lines that form spontaneously, and points of interaction that give Cyberia its fun vibe.
By the time the energy picks up in the space, users give back a phenomenon that makes Final Fantasy venues something unique in metaversal experience. Because Club Cyberia exists within the MMO, users can still enact spells without hurting others in non-combat areas. The result is a light experience that, with enough users enacting one, creates a generative visual on the dance floor. It lends itself to a special moment shared between those present, those watching the stream, and the musician broadcasting music back to them. The energy builds, breaks, dies, and builds again as the music affects the listeners in real-time.
And this is what makes Club Cyberia special. It is this combination of staff, this combination of art, curated performers, and patrons visiting, that makes the evenings here what they are.
Preparing for Club Cyberia's October 16th event involves downloading the game to level up in advance in order to be able to visit. Final Fantasy XIV is free to download, so that's the first hurdle down. Be sure to register on the Primal server--any of the worlds listed under Primal will do. Make sure it's selected by picking the right server under "Data Center Selection" on the game menu, and you should be fine.
Next, level your character to 15. You will then need to complete the quest "Where The Heart Is" just outside of Ul'Dah, which will let you visit Goblet (but grab the same quests for other cities too, just in case). After that, it's just a matter of picking what you want to wear for the evening.
Be sure to arrive at least thirty minutes before the doors open. Club Cyberia may be on its third night of performances, but the venue is already known for taking at least an hour to get into if the space is at capacity.
Barring you can't get in, there's always the Twitch stream. Energy abounds there--and you can always watch the generative effects happening on screen.
Want to support more metaverse journalism? You can subscribe to our Patreon here.