Strap yourself in. It’s going to be a wild ride!
It is 7pm on a Thursday night and there is a food truck named Burger Monster stationed in the parking lot of a coworking space called Peoplespace. They are giving out free food and drinks including beer for a virtual reality infused meetup that has sparked over 100 people to venture into a quiet building ready to jump into a new digital world.
Exhibitors are lined up against the walls on white fold up tables presenting demos that they are currently developing. Projects range from deep interactive hacking games, to custom content for brands and retro versions of the Bomberman and Zelda games. Some of the Oculus team even presented themselves showing off the new DK2 units and talking about the time when Mark Zuckerburg called them in for an acquisition meeting that turned into a multibillion dollar buyout.
As developers, VR enthusiasts, and potential investors mingle, it is easy to see that the virtual reality movement is clearly birthing into something here. If you look closely though, you can see who is laying down the groundwork for the digital communities in this area. One instance is Karl Krantz who came all the way from Silicon Valley to check out what is happening in Orange County. Another good example is Jonnie Ross who worked with Cosmo Scharf to found VRLA. Together with these types of leaders and the growing interest in this field, Southern California is poised to become a national hub for virtual reality and pave the way for immersive online, social interactions. Digital worlds will be created here of which the likes we can only imagine!
Orange County VR Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/OC-Virtual-Reality-Meetup/
OCVR Website: http://orangecountyvr.com/
Darknet Game by E McNeill: http://www.darknetgame.com/
Specular Theory by Morris May & Ryan Pulliam: http://www.speculartheory.com/
SMS Racing by Holden Link: http://holdenlink.com/project/sms-racing/
Oculus Rift: http://www.oculusvr.com/
Karl Krantz Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/karlkrantz
Los Angeles VR Meetup Group: http://www.meetup.com/virtualrealityla/
Cosmo’s Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/cosmoblosmo
Burger Monster Food Truck: http://burgermonster.net/
Article written by @industychanger
^^ photo of Ian Hamilton & Karl Krantz ^^