When Phase Connect’s Pipkin Pippa randomly created a “VTuber company” from scratch, little did she know the outcome of it—now known as FlaVR—has become a perfect microcosm of the VTubing community.
From the creativity that oozes out from the minds behind who operate it, to the “drama” they create to stir conversation online, FlaVR is more than just a satire: It’s a statement of our diverse community, bringing out both the best and the worst of it.
- Using the controversial NovelAI art generator, Pippa generated a slew of talents, which were named Minna Vanilla, Rika Paprika, Sena Bonbon, Donna Vina D’Merlot, Dr. Citrea Lolime, and Dr. Citrea Lolimale (notice the difference between the latter two).
- The satire VTuber company has expanded into another affiliate “company” called FlaVR MPreg Management. Each of these satire pages share the same models Pippa made and with their own lore and content direction, with even some of them having “debut streams” and actually playing games live.
The satire has reached to a point where “drama” ensues involving agency “hostile takeovers,” hacking, spread of illicit images among others.
Moreover, several community members have also kept the momentum active via 4chan by creating AI-generated art, memes, thumbnail concepts and posting it on the platform. Slowly, members of the /vt/ imageboard trickled into their /fvr/ forum, and word about them spread in the community.
Understanding How FlaVR Uses Community Creativity to Thrive
One of the key factors that increased discussion about FlaVR was around rallying support from the VTubing community—both fans and existing VTubers—to grow the branding and expand it like a real VTuber company.
This was evident when one of key creatives behind FlaVR announced her departure from the creative group, citing real-life commitments. From there, we see the numerous people who worked hand in hand to flesh out new content and creative output for the VTubing community to see.
From creating a new website for the project to conceptualizing what stream goes next, one could not help to ask, “How do they have so much time on their hands?”
I think it speaks to the immense creativity the community has to show their appreciation of it, beyond the traditional tropes of fanart and clipping. In their own, many fans express this through sh*tposting, memes, gaming, and other creative works of art.
A fan creates itasha designs based on the colors and theme of a VTuber, another made a fan-made Twitter news account solely for a VTuber (of which this writer was involved), and then some set up a crowdfunded effort to advertise a VTuber on a bus and even on a sailing junk ship. Fans even raised funds to ‘adopt’ a penguin! Fans have multiple creative ways to express their thanks to their favorite.
To an extent, this also applies to the creative brainchild behind FlaVR. Sure, it is a satire agency, but the extent the creative team behind it pours into the project says a lot about their dedication to present it like your typical VTuber group or agency.
Ironically, the meta status of what they are doing is putting an air of authenticity to the fact that some unsuspecting VTuber fans unknowingly ask if FlaVR is a legitimate agency.
FlaVR as a Commentary on Ease of VTuber Agency Creation
On the other end of FlaVR’s spectrum is how this project has become a commentary on how anyone in this community can come up with their own VTuber project and pose as legitimate groups. While creative as it seems, FlaVR also exemplifies how anyone can use creative works to lure potential indies to be affiliated with a ‘smokes and mirrors’ VTuber group or agency.
The VTubing community is no stranger to many ‘predatory’ and misleading VTuber groups and agencies. Oftentimes, aspiring indie VTubers get lured to false promises of streaming growth and revenue while sacrificing time and money—only to end up getting exploited.
On the other hand, there are also entities who pose as legitimate agencies, promising that they have investment to back the talents, only to end up being unprofitable, forcing companies to shut down and leave talents in the dark.
There’s a certain part of me that sees FlaVR as an example of showcasing how it is easy to establish themselves as a growing community without the community questioning where they came from and how legitimate it is.
Oftentimes, our positivity overflows to the point that we tend to stray away from the real issues of this community, from lack of transparency to the realistic potential it brings to VTuber talents.
In the end, FlaVR is a satire of the current status of the VTubing community; but FlaVR brings its laughable themes to the creative community, and succeeds in bringing the message that while the VTubing community can be easily penetrated by false actors, structure and transparency brings a sense of reputation to an agency.
That, to me at least, is why the FlaVR initiative is a brilliant case study of the VTubing group experience—even if it all started as a joke.
To the FlaVR team, whose creative prowess has resulted in the greatest ‘meta project’ of the English-speaking VTubing community, and especially to Pippa, the ‘mother’ of the FlaVR project: Thank You. May creativity flourish within the community.