One task for Google in 2021 is making I/O more than just a developer conference that strictly takes place over video livestreams. Google’s answer is a “virtual event experience” and digital space called I/O Adventure.

Update 5/21: Despite I/O 2021 ending yesterday, Google says the I/O Adventure experience and “learning playscape” will stay open for “another month.” However, the World chat is disabled. It gives completionists a chance to collect the 119 pieces of virtual swag.

Update 5/18: Following the two keynotes, I/O Adventure is now live:

Update 5/17: Google shared a video of the experience this morning with a ‘bump’ mechanic to do most things in this virtual world. Mini-games — besides finding easter eggs — include mini golf, exploring a digital forest, and growing a garden.

Original 5/16: With a few days until I/O 2021 kicks off, Google has fully detailed how I/O Adventure will let you see product demos, chat with Googlers, earn more Google Developer profile badges and virtual swag, engage with the community, create an avatar, and discover easter eggs. It will open on Day 1 of I/O after the Developer keynote — which ends at 1 p.m. PT — and closes on Day 3 on May 20 at 2 p.m. It’s almost MMO-like (massively multiplayer online game)/Second Life in nature.

Registered attendees will be able to create a customized avatar. This one-eyed character has a body made of blocky shapes with more customization options available by collecting “unique virtual swag to represent your style.” This includes Android mascots, I/O lanyard badges, signs with product logos, and much more, with locked chests placed everywhere.

You and your avatar will then be able to explore the digital space that’s somewhat modeled after the I/O grounds at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. For example, there is an Android 12 statue, with a virtual event on Thursday, May 20 at 9:15 a.m. PT inviting the Android developer community to take a group photo. 

Attendees will be able to chat with others and Googlers during certain “live” hours with the ability to react with emoji. The experience will support English, Simplified Chinese, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese.

New registrations have an approval wait time. Sign in again after 9am PT the next calendar day of the conference to join as an attendee. Thank you for your patience here!

There will be product domes, just like in real life, where moderated Round Table discussions occur with a max of 10 people, “including a developer from Google.” Beside being fun, I/O Adventure will be how you book 1:1 topic-based Office Hours with Googlers via Google Meet.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: