As with most industries, manufacturers and developers of videogame titles and tech are constantly striving to ensure diversity whilst hiring the best applicants for their necessary roles. Whilst there are women involved in virtual reality (VR) the industry is still dominated by men which is why Arts Bridging the Gap, VRLA School, and SH//FT have created an educational program called ‘Girls Make VR’.
The aim is to teach teenage girls the basics of VR, augmented reality (AR), and 360-degree development, and the programme has recently been accepted into the LA2050 ‘Learn’ challenge to win a $50,000 USD grant. . The programme is focused on reducing the barriers to entry for VR and AR by providing mentorship, resources, and inspiration to encourage girls to become leaders in the immersive tech industry.
“A strong balance of genders, ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds will lead to a rich blend of content that will drive innovation of the tech in this industry. We are making sure girls have a strong role in that mix,” said Christian Falstrup, Co-Founder, VRLA School.
While SH//FT Co-Founders Jenn Duong & Julie Young commented: “Diversity starts at the beginning. By encouraging these young female developers and content creators and giving them a platform to learn and experiment, we are a step closer to ensuring that diversity is a cornerstone of virtual reality.”
The team put on the first Girls Make VR workshop at the VRLA Summer Expo 2016, and is currently encouraging the public to vote at LA2050 from 18th to 25th October, 2016.
“We believe that keeping teens engaged in education, especially those in underserved areas, is one of the greatest challenges of our generation,” said Georgia Van Cuylenburg, Arts Bridging the Gap. “Providing access to exciting new mediums awakens a passion for learning and defines future careers.”
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