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

Hey! 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 … Continue reading Who Wants to be on a Science Fiction/VR Panel With Me?

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

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

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

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

A 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 … Continue reading Over Forty VR Pioneers in the Blueprints of the Afterlife Talent Pool

X-Sightings at Northwest Film Forum

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 … Continue reading X-Sightings at Northwest Film Forum

Blueprints of the Afterlife Talent Pool Filling with VR Pioneers

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 … Continue reading Blueprints of the Afterlife Talent Pool Filling with VR Pioneers

Announcing the Blueprints of the Afterlife VR Talent Pool

I want to create a masterpiece in VR that will define the early stages of the medium like Citizen Kane defined film. I have a vision for what this will entail, and I am actively building a talent pool to make this vision a reality.

blueprints-of-the-afterlifeI’d like to create an explorable virtual world based on my 2012 novel Blueprints of the Afterlife. The novel follows survivors of a catastrophic era in a future Pacific Northwest, where an exact replica of Manhattan is under construction in Puget Sound and gigantic human heads hover mysteriously in the sky.

The world of Blueprints is governed by three technologies. The Bionet, a biological Internet, that is used to heal but is hacked by “DJs” who turn the people they control into “embodiments.” Newmans are a race of post-human androids tasked with restoring nature and rebuilding civilization. Meanwhile, a mystical tribe of monks operates quantum computers called qputers to distort reality.

When I wrote Blueprints I imagined much of it taking place in a virtual environment. I was surprised to discover that much of what I imagined in my novel is actually achievable in VR. In many ways, the book, full of mixed realities, hallucinations, offloaded memories, and video game interludes, is perfect for VR.

Blueprints of the Afterlife was favorably reviewed in the New York Times, was a finalist for the Philip K Dick Award, and was published in translation in Spain and the Czech Republic. It has been compared to works by Thomas Pynchon, Haruki Murakami, and David Foster Wallace (which is a bit rich, if you ask me).

I wanted to write a novel that would stick around in readers’ heads long after they finished it. Based on readers’ responses and the novel’s continued, if modest, sales, it seems I achieved that goal. Now I want to take the novel even further and convert it into a rich and explorable virtual world. Continue reading “Announcing the Blueprints of the Afterlife VR Talent Pool”

X-cited for X-Sightings

Holy hot damn, I’m still recovering from last weekend’s multiple hackathon madness and here comes the X-Sightings Cinematic VR Film Fest! For crying out loud, VR community, slow down already! The fest runs Saturday and Sunday at Northwest Film Forum, from 1-7 PM. If you’re within the gravitational pull of Capitol Hill this weekend, you have no excuse not to pop in. It’s free! X-Sightings … Continue reading X-cited for X-Sightings

Mechanical Dreams VR: Innovation in 360 Degrees

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The Mechanical Dreams team. Clockwise from top: Mischa Jakupcak, Joint CEO; Lacey Leavitt, Joint CEO; Joe Jacobs, CTO; Chris Mosson, Director of Photography; Mara Auster, Producer

One hundred years ago the film industry was just getting started, with early experiments that led to such innovations as editing and close-ups. Someone had to actually come up with the montage, the establishing shot, the cut-away, the fade to black. These innovations became standardized through trial and error by fearless early filmmakers who produced as many short films as they could crank out.

The same work ethic applies to today’s pioneers of cinematic VR. One such outfit is Mechanical Dreams VR, a five-person cinematic VR company headquartered at CoMotion Labs, led by Lacey Leavitt and Mischa Jakupcak. Continue reading “Mechanical Dreams VR: Innovation in 360 Degrees”