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Introducing the Workshop Leaders of the VR Diversity Initiative 2018 VR Kick-Off!

Talented and experienced workshop leaders will be teaching participants at the first event of the year.

The VR Diversity Initiative 2018 VR Kick-Off! will be the first of six events this year. Sign-ups are now closed and 23 participants have been selected to take part. They will be learning how to create a rough virtual reality (VR) prototype for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on VR ready laptops. Experienced VR workshop leaders will be helping participants along the way, teaching them the basic skills on how to get started in VR. These range from 360 film workflows to creating an interactive Unity project. Listed below are the workshop leaders taking part in the VR Diversity Initiative 2018 VR Kick-Off! event.

Full-Day Workshop Leaders

Kyaw Tun Sein, Co-Founder and CTO

Ikigai Factory

Kyaw Tun Sein

After participating in many VR game jams, Kyaw started Ikigai Factory to develop useful tools powered by VR like REVR (a mobile virtual tour creation app). His mission with VR is to shrink our world much, much further where we say farewell to our limits of physical distance.

Kyaw is from the diverse background himself. His background was industrial design, not software/game development. He is also from Myanmar and currently based in London as an entrepreneur. He is very excited about VRDI because he will be able to welcome other diverse people to VR.

Sam Perrin, Founder

Virtual Vault

Sam Perrin

A self-taught game designer and programmer, Sam Perrin studied game development during a lengthy recovery in a hospital following a car accident in 2012. Since then he has gone on to make games and apps that have been downloaded and enjoyed across the world and is director of Virtual Vault. Alongside his development work Sam enjoys mentoring new developers as they hone their skills in the industry.

I’ve loved VR from the first moment I put on a headset. The power and potential of the medium never ceases to amaze me, not just or gaming but for healthcare, education and for allowing those with disabilities and reduced mobility to experience things they may never have thought possible. I feel the inclusive nature of the medium must be matched by the diversity of its developers; we are building new worlds in virtual space and everyone should have a chance to be included in its creation.

Alex  Rühl, Founder

CATS and not PEAS

Alex_Rühl

Alex Rühl is a VR creator and founder/company director of CATS are not PEAS (catsarenotpeas.com), a boutique immersive storytelling studio. Prior to that she worked as a producer in traditional broadcast for the likes of BBC, Sky and ITV Studios. She picked up her first 360 camera in early 2016 and hasn’t looked back since.

My 360 film Keyed Alike is a queer love story with strong female leads. It’s been a featured project on one of the most widely used VR apps worldwide (JauntVR). This is the power of a new entertainment industry! Diversity is being championed and I want to encourage, empower and nurture creators in this space.

Half-Day Workshop Leaders

Sitara Shefta, Senior Producer

Dream Reality Interactive

Sitara Shefta

I’m a Senior Producer who’s been developing games for over six years. Previously, I worked at EA on the Need for Speed franchise and at Sumo Digital on titles including LittleBigPlanet 3, Sonic Dash 2 and Snake Pass. In 2016, I was awarded the Women in Games Hall of Fame award and last year, I was featured in Develop’s 30 under 30. From organising the team to running creative reviews, at DRI I use my Production skills to drive the team to create compelling VR and AR experiences.
I’m supporting the VR Diversity initiative as I believe it’s a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to come together in such a creative way. Growing up, I never saw games and VR as a career option and I think it’s important to vocalise that this is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of your background. So I’m happy to be supporting the initiative as I’m excited to be part of our industry growing to be as inclusive and diverse as possible.

Laura Dodds, Senior Artist

Dream Reality Interactive

 Laura Dodds
In my spare time, I am an indie developer and designer on small games that have gone on to be showcased at EGX, Develop, Rezzed, PC Gamer Weekender and FMX.  I studied Film and Television at Warwick and did an MA in Games Design and Development at the National Film and Television School.
I am a Senior Artist at DRi which includes a wide range of responsibilities from art direction and concepting to creating assets and implementation in game engine.
I am keen to be involved in the VR diversity initiative because I think it is important that audio visual media isn’t dominated by the voices of a select few.  It took me a while to get into the games industry as growing up I never saw it as a possibility for me.  I think the VR diversity initiative is a great way to encourage people with a variety of backgrounds and talents to get involved.

Joel Herber, Senior Game Programmer

Dream Reality Interactive

Joel Herber

 My greatest passion is to bring the worlds of stunning art and great tech together to make great experiences. I’m all about working on things with good stories to tell and inspired art styles that push the boundaries of what interactive entertainment can do. After studying Computer Science at Brighton University I quickly moved into creating video games for clients such as Nickelodeon, Sesame Street and the BBC. Now working as part of Dream Reality Interactive as a Senior Game Programmer, my job revolves around working with the rest of the team to plan the feasibility, design and to implement our game designs.
I wanted to get involved with the initiative because I believe that games, like any art-form, are only enriched by having a diverse range of creatives with different backgrounds and stories to tell.

 

The VR Diversity Initiative 2018 Kick-Off event will take place on 28th February 2018, at Hobs Studio, Here East, Unit 3, 3-4 East Bay Lane, London E20 3BS.  Additional supporters of the VR Diversity Initiative include HTC Vive, Innovate UK , Oculus, Barclays Eagle Labs ,BlueHire and the Realities Centre, with more announcements to follow.

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