Kevin Joyce, CEO and Editor of VRFocus used to be a videogame journalist. With over a decade of covering console, PC and mobile platforms Joyce now leads the site in its daily operations. Back in 2017 Joyce stressed the importance of diversity. This year VRFocus are continuing their path to create a more inclusive space for new talent and voices.
Joyce explains that the VR Diversity Initiative was founded in 2017 with the help of Catherine Allen and that this year VRFocus‘ Media Content Producer Nina Salomons would be taking the lead. The VR Diversity Initiative is a not-for-profit organisation which hosts a free workshop for participants of under-represented groups. The workshops are built around 360-degree film and VR creation sessions. The objective is for attendees to get hands-on with equipment and hardware that is too expensive to buy. The hope is that participants will learn skills to then further their careers in the space and eventually get hired by industries that work in the XR spaces.
“The VR Diversity Initiative is important to the VR, AR and MR scenes simply to grow the influence we have on the kind of content that becomes available down the line. There are only so many ideas and so many unique proposals that can come in terms of content from a narrow background. There’s a very high risk of slipping into the same rut that the games industry is in where they’re now crying out for people from diverse backgrounds. The VR industry being so youthful has the opportunity to get it right from the start,” Kevin Joyce says.
This year the VR Diversity Initiative organised their first event at Hobs Studio. The first event had over 37 sign-ups and only 23 spaces for participants. Participants created various experiences and learned skills to build or create a VR experience.
Joyce has been with VRFocus from its conception in 2014 and has four years of experience working in the fields of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality(AR) and mixed reality (MR). His background in videogames, has helped create what the site is today.
“VRFocus has established a great network of developers, content producers and hardware manufacturers, and through the VR Diversity Initiative we’re going to leverage this network with the hopes of raising opportunities for people from divers backgrounds across the spectrum of AR, VR and MR. Be it through internships or hopefully potentially careers down the line,” Joyce adds.
To find out more watch the video below.