Half way into our Galaxy

Pirates, Poets and Pioneers.

That's how I introduced the fantastic group that is now our HackingVR class, on our very first day. Well, you don't disappoint.

Believe it or not, half the semester has flown by. Ideas, attentive learning, and creative thinking, have allowed us to explore VR and Immersive Media Production from a variety of angles, going from "I've never done this before" and "I don't know what I'm doing" to actual project plans, surprising UX/UI designs and immersive narratives.

You play, you learn

Being a pioneer is not so easy...Over the course of the semester, we've learn that the VR world has been populated by self-labeling pioneers for decades (uh-oh). We've also learned that "pushing agains the dictatorship of the screen" might be a catchy phrase, but it does not take into consideration our human long (quite long) history of creating with whatever tools, surfaces, skills and medium we have on hand.

We have played and experimented with Oculus equipment (Rifts, Touch Controllers, Samsung Gear), and learned about: History, Platforms, Human-Centered Design, Proprioception, the Mechanics of VR, POV/FOV and Stereoscopy. Photogrammetry, scriptwriting and storyboarding for VR, accessibility, WebVR APIs and even thinking outside the box (when there is no box to start with).

We were honoured to received a fantastic line-up of guests: T.L Taylor, Brian Chirls (DataVized), Arnaud Colinart (NotesOnBlindness) Vincent McCurley and Eloi Champagne (NFB), Ziv Schneider (Tzina VR), Halsey Burgund, Karen Vanderborght (OceanSchoolVR), Cindy Bishop (VRDoodler), Vincent Morisset (aatoaa, Way To Go), Vicki Ferguson and Olivier Palmieri (Ubisoft Eagle Flight)...

and the semester's not even over yet. In a few weeks, VR in news with the NYTimes, VR in Science with Google's Jessica Brillhart, and the Ethics of Representation in VR with Fox Harrell (MIT, CSAIL, The Enemy).

We were lucky to partner with the MIT Open Doc Lab and the Center for Arts, Science & Technology (CAST) to open most of these talks to the public, through a free Speaker Series.

Couldn't make it? You can watch our broadcasts here, including a special panel on the Arts and Science of VR.

With just a few weeks before the class ends, let me say how we are truly excited we are about seeing your final VR projects. I am proud to see the originality and thoughtfulness you put into your project's plans. And we'll support you in making innovative experiences as we finish the class... But for now - tough love. Time to push your projects!!