By donning a pair of virtual reality headsets and holding a pair of controllers inside their home, a Santa Monica-based company has created a game that allows players to channel their inner LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard in the metaverse, where everything is possible.

Gym Class VR, available at Meta’s App lab, brings players together in the virtual world to play virtual basketball against other players in different venues worldwide and still get the same type of community and physical workout.

“Our goal is to build a digital sport and create digital basketball superstars,” said Paul Katsen, co-founder and chief product officer at IRL Studios, the creator of Gym Class, in an interview with Spectrum News.

IRL Studios is one step closer to making that a reality.

With Gym Class VR amassing over 64 million views on TikTok from players who share their content on social media, the company recently raised more than $8 million in a seed round to continue developing the game for the metaverse.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other angel investors provided the money.

In a news release, Andreessen Horowitz officials said this virtual reality game is the dawn of a new digital era. 

“We are convinced that games, virtual worlds, and digital sports will be the new social networks,” said Andrew Chen, Partner, Andreessen Horowitz, in a news release. “Gym Class signals the dawn of digital sports. It has the traction and has the right team behind it to realize the true potential of social VR. We are strong believers in the vision and the team who have already proven Gym Class has a massive audience and opportunity.”


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