IT'S AN EPISODE IN WHICH WE FINALLY STOP TALKING ABOUT VIRTUAL REALITY AND MOVE ON TO WEEKS OF PLAYING WITH PALS. WE START WITH THE END OF GAMERCAMP.
Movie buffs visit film festivals. Bibliophiles browse books fairs. But game players charge into the convention. It's a practice hailing back from the olden times of the Star Trek conventions, to tech meetups in the early Silicon Valley and the mighty heights of the San Diego Comic Con. For the avid fan, there's multiple Penny Arcade Expos in the United States, Gamescom in Germany, and the Tokyo Game Show in Japan. These days there's so many that if you take a look in your own backyard, you'll probably find one.
Big game conventions can feel exhausting though. You're fighting tens of thousands of people in a hall. Massive companies push their way towards you to showcase their newest games. And what if you're looking for local products, games made in your hometown, maybe an experiment or two? Every hub for game design has at least one little event for enthusiasts, like a party a few friends put together for their community. In Toronto, we had Gamercamp.
ON BUILT TO PLAY, WE PUT ON A HEADSET, STRAP ON A PAIR OF HEADPHONES, AND TALK ABOUT VIRTUAL REALITY IN ALL ITS FORMS.
Some people just can't stop thinking about virtual reality. Last week Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack (and the creator of DOOM) got on stage at the VR conference, Oculus Connect, and improvised a speech about the technology for more than an hour. Oculus Connect is also where the Facebook-owned tech firm revealed their newest, and presumably last, Oculus Rift prototype, Crescent Bay. With 3D audio and better motion tracking, it looks like this prototype is the closest we've come to confusing reality with the virtual.
But Arman and Daniel are not these people. They don't have time to keep up with these people and their "headsets." They're far too busy playing the new Smash Bros. So they called up a local VR game developer,Stephan Tanguay, to explain the ins and outs of modern virtual reality.
Stephan has been a fan of VR since at least mid-'80s. He watched the great outpouring of shoddy, ugly and straight-up misguided VR attempts get laughed out of the room. So when the Oculus Rift came out in 2012 as a developer's kit, Stephan was one of the first to use it. He's been waiting for a while to see a form of virtual reality that's easy to create games for, is affordable, and can fully immerse you in another world.