Who Wants to be on a Science Fiction/VR Panel With Me?

brand.jpgHey! I’ve been asked to host a panel at RenCon, aka Renton City Comicon, October 28-30. Wanna join me?

I’m excited to be part of what promises to be a bacchanalia of cosplaying, science fiction, technology, and world building. I keep hearing about Renton as a growing technology hub, and I’m eager to get in on that action.

I’m looking for a couple panelists who can speak authoritatively about the relationship between science fiction and virtual reality. If you’ve produced something related to either–ideally both–of these topics, please get in touch.

Clinton or Trump: Whose Technology Policies would be Better for Palmer Luckey?

This is a picture of Hillary Clinton with some technology.

When I learned that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey had financially supported an organization dedicated to “shitposting” pro-Trump memes, I felt like a friend had just revealed that his favorite band was Insane Clown Posse. I wasn’t outraged, I was just sort of perplexed and wondered if this was a joke.

I try to avoid, as much as possible, the snarling and teeth gnashing that happens on social media when revelations of this sort come to light. If you want ridicule and invective at Palmer Luckey, there are plenty of places online that will sate your appetite. I happen to believe that the First Amendment of the Constitution applies even to ill-informed douchebags.

I got to thinking though, about Facebook’s bottom line. How would Facebook fare under a Trump presidency versus a Clinton presidency? Under which administration would a nimble rich guy like Palmer Luckey stand to make more money?

I decided to compare the technology policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to determine who would provide a more favorable regulatory climate for companies like Oculus/Facebook. I reviewed these policies as best I could while trying to adopt the mindset of somebody who’s only thinking about developing next-generation VR tech and maximizing units sold.

I started by reading all 7,218 words of Hillary Clinton’s Initiative on Technology and Innovation, which is available on her official campaign website. Continue reading

Events! Mettle VR Video Workshop, Seattle Fashion Week, VR Gamers Meetup

By golly, there are some promising-sounding events coming up for all those interested in VR, 360 video, immersive media, and whatever else we call the things blowing our minds these days. Attend the one that sounds most appealing to you, or attend all three and feel superior to the rest of us. Rub it in, why don’t you.

Tonight at CNDY Factory, 7-11, is the Mettle VR Video Workshop. If you want to learn more about the software responsible for 360 video, this is the event to attend. There will also be pizza (good, gourmet pies provided by Woodland Pizza), 360 video demos, and a chance to hang out and meet other like-minded VR pioneers. Go here for tickets. Here’s a little taste of what you can expect at CNDY Factory tonight:

Sixr just announced that they’re partnering with Seattle Fashion Week. You can mingle with both the Sixr team and models (I realize it might be hard to tell the difference). The fashion commences this Thursday at 6:00 at Pacific Place. Fancy. More info here.

Are you into VR for the games? You’ve got a lot of company. On Friday, 7:00-midnight, the first VR Gamers Meetup gets underway at Indies Workshop. I’m told there will be two Vives to use, big screens for spectators, and loads of game-oriented VR experiences.


Over Forty VR Pioneers in the Blueprints of the Afterlife Talent Pool

blueprints-of-the-afterlifeA few days ago I announced that I’m planning an explorable VR world based on my novel Blueprints of the Afterlife. I have been stunned by how many incredibly talented and accomplished people have expressed interest in potentially lending their expertise to this project. I’ve heard from over 40 people so far. They’ve worked for Amazon, Microsoft Hololens, Hulu, Pixar, and many more companies, and are experts on everything from medical imaging to designing AAA video games. I’m flattered they’re all interested in getting involved in a story that features over 600 clones of a former pop star’s backup dancer.

There’s clearly a surplus of creative tech talent in Seattle that wants to work on ground-breaking VR content. I’m still taking names and recommendations of people I should reach out to. If this is you or someone you know, check out the original post and don’t hesitate to get in touch.

X-Sightings at Northwest Film Forum

Alex Abuan helps a young viewer with the Vive at the X-Sightings Cinematic VR Film Festival on Saturday.

Sixr’s X-Sightings VR Film Fest is on again today at Northwest Film Forum. They’ve got a Vive in the Maker Dome, two Rifts, and a Hololens and will be showing off a bunch of content from 1-7 today. Yesterday they exposed over 150 filmgoers to the future of VR entertainment. There’s so much VR magic crammed into that room it’s crazy. Super enthusiastic and welcoming VR pioneers are on hand to introduce the masses to the future. Check it out and be changed forever.

Blueprints of the Afterlife Talent Pool Filling with VR Pioneers

My friend Nate Manny, who designed the cover of my novel Blueprints of the Afterlife, made this collage of one of the scenes from the book, in which bloodthirsty polar bears ride a sentient glacier that’s laying waste to various cities in North America. Just imagine this in VR!

Yesterday I announced the Blueprints of the Afterlife VR Talent Pool. I’m developing a plan to turn my 2012 novel into a VR experience, and I asked the universe (well, Facebook) if there was anyone out there who’d be interested in joining a list of potential future collaborators. I have no jobs to offer and no guarantee this will actually, you know, happen any time soon, but the response I got knocked me back on my feet.

Over thirty VR pioneers contacted me within hours of my announcement, representing a stunning breadth of expertise including AAA game design, product management, music scoring, machine learning, AI, Unity, Unreal Engine, film production, art direction, production design, audio engineering, animation, medical imaging, multiplayer, architecture, motion design, UX, UI, and robotics.

Some of the companies members of the talent pool work for or have worked for include Oculus, Microsoft Hololens, Pixar, Amazon, Dreamworks, Hulu, Warner Brothers, Electronic Arts, University of Washington, and other companies working at the forefront of entertainment and tech.

I keep hearing the drumbeat of content, content, content in the world of VR. The industry is itching for original stories and ground-breaking experiences. And the community is clearly itching to provide them.

If this sounds interesting to you, give my previous post a read and get in touch with me. Thank you to everyone who has tossed their hat into the ring so far!