If you’ve been following VRFocus for a while now you should likely be aware of our involvement in what is called the Virtual Reality Diversity Initiative – or VRDI for short. The scheme, first announced just over a year ago, was initially headed up by Catherine Allen and with ourselves at VRFocus and a number of other partners it put of a special one-day production bootcamp for those who wish to become involved with the virtual reality (VR) industry. A combination of talks from experts in immersive technology and hands-on workshops.
It is a little bit more than just that. VRDI exists to provide not just opportunities but some support to under-represented groups in the media and technology industry. Including LGBTQ+, women, Black, Asian, people with disabilities, people from lower income backgrounds and other under under-represented groups. It’s there to give people who have received bad experiences, been convinced they can’t – or at worst ‘should not’ – get involved in tech. We often reiterate here that VR is for everyone, VRDI is there to fly that flag.
VRDI is now headed by our own Nina Salomons, and at this very moment the second VRDI event of the year is in progress at Plexal, an innovation centre in East London previously part of the London 2012 Olympic Games complex – and the largest innovation ecosystem on the continent. As with February’s event, VRDI are running through workshops and talks and on this occasion the team there are live streaming a 360 degree video showing just what’s going on.
VR itself can benefit from such diversity too.
“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.” Explained VRFocus Editor Kevin Joyce, following February’s event.. “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.”
You can see the stream, hosted by DoubleMe, Inc., below.