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Toronto

Jaime Woo on the End of Gamercamp and Building a Community

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Jaime Woo on the End of Gamercamp and Building a Community

Jaime recouping on the final night of Gamercamp

Jaime recouping on the final night of Gamercamp

Co-founded by Jaime Woo, Gamercamp was a games festival created mostly for the founder's curiosity.

They heard Torontonians were making games and getting attention for it, but couldn't see the games anywhere.  So they made their own event based in their hometown. Their first year, it was just a series of talks in a small theatre on one day, and despite a rocky start they kept at it. Six years later, Gamercamp was the biggest festival of its kind in the city, including an arcade and multiple parties in a single weekend. Compared to even a medium-sized convention like IndieCade, Gamercamp is tiny. Yet, by any measure, it's been a success. Which is why the decision to close up shop came as a surprise to some, and upset a few others.

We brought Jaime into the studio to talk about those early years and why he's decided to end Gamercamp.


Jaime Woo is a technology writer, and author of the book Meet Grindr. You can find him on Twitter @JaimeWoo and on his website. Thanks for the Free Music Archive for "Carousel" by johnny_ripper.

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Stephan Tanguay on Virtual Reality and Forgetting About the Machine

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Stephan Tanguay on Virtual Reality and Forgetting About the Machine

Courtesy Stephan Tanguay

Courtesy Stephan Tanguay

Stephan Tanguay loves virtual reality. He's looking forward to day where he completely forgets he's tethered to a computer. Eventually, he wants a holodeck, but with that a little farther away than he'd like, he'll settle for an Oculus and a Razer Hydra. Stephan runs the local virtual reality meet up here in Toronto, and is developing his own virtual reality game for the upcoming headset, the Oculus Rift.

His goal is to expose more people and designers to the possibilities of virtual reality. The technology has never been better or more usable, and he ran a presentation at the Future. Innovation. Technology. Creativity. conference back in May to explain just that. That doesn't mean the Oculus is perfect by any means. Right now the capabilities are thin. The resolution isn't high enough and long term play can induce motion sickness. Not to mention, that if you have the wrong kind of controller, virtual reality can be downright awkward to explore.

Stephan believes we're going to work through all that. As he put it, VR is a wild frontier. He's using the Razer Hydra, a highly precise handheld motion controller, for his games, and he's forward to the STEM which can track a lot of upper body movement. If the future's as bright as Stephan sees it, we aren't all that far away from a day where we completely lose track of whether we're in the real world or virtual one.

The Sixense STEM motion controller development kit

The Sixense STEM motion controller development kit

Stephan Tanguay is a game designer and Unity 3D developer. You can find his work at his website Call2Action and find him on Twitter @StephanTanguay. The music in this interview came from the Free Music Archive: "Song D'Automne" by Latch Swing.

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