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NBC News's Democracy Plaza in New York City, rendered in virtual reality through AltspaceVR, will host several debate watching parties throughout the run-up to November's election, along with other political events. Photo: NBC News.
NBC News’s Democracy Plaza in New York City, rendered in virtual reality through AltspaceVR, will host several debate watching parties throughout the run-up to November’s election, along with other political events. Photo: NBC News.

Presidential debate watching parties are a staple of the democratic process. But this year, NBC News is teaming up with AltspaceVR, a Bay Area social virtual reality startup, to host a whole different kind of debate watching party.

Tonight, viewers can grab a spot on their couch and watch the debate with friends from across the state or across the globe, in a virtual recreation of NBC’s Democracy Plaza in New York City.

At the party, viewers appear as an avatar in the virtual plaza, and can see and interact with other viewers while the debate takes place.

Check out the virtual democracy plaza inaugural event here:

The app is available on the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and also has a 2-D desktop application for watching on a PC or Mac. Viewers can also choose to create their own debate watching events on AltspaceVR’s app, and invite their friends or make the event public.

NBC will also host a variety of other VR events in the run-up to November’s election, including live Q&A sessions with political experts, political comedy shows, and more debate watching parties.

The debate will also be streamed on Facebook Live by ABC, and on Twitter and YouTube in conjunction with Bloomberg Politics.

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