Since the popularity of virtual reality experiences has grown, there has been many doubts, questions and simple un-interest surrounding this media. Though most of the doubts, at least with the people I have spoken, doesn’t stem from such experiences being revolutionary but more of a price barrier and not enough content or compelling enough content for them to cross over the price barrier of obtaining their own VR headset. But creating compelling enough content is not the only way to spark interest, as workshops and knowledge bases grants another opportunity to spark interest for a skeptic.
With that said, one studio is spreading the knowledge about the inner workings of VR/AR and asking relevant and uncomfortable questions about such an unexplored medium. Based in San Francisco and founded January 2015, Metaverse Scholars Club is a group of enthusiasts who develops and host classes relating to virtual reality. They also collect immersive technologies, which is shared with heir club to provide more people with access to VR.
Speaking of their classes, which can be attended at the Revolution Accelerator Space at 479 Jessie St., consist of courses pertaining to entrepreneurship, Unity 3D, Installation, green-screening and industry landscape of VR. Before VR headsets became publicly available, they we’re talking about uses of VR outside of gaming and surviving the first year of consumer VR. You can explore more Scholar Clubs past and upcoming events on meetup.com.
Asides from the classes they offer, they are currently involved with an ongoing project, called “Rokos Basilica.” This project centers around a philosophical question: “What are the risks in developing complete Artificial Intelligence(A.I)?” Set in a immersive video, they answer the question with an A.I., by the name “Singularity,” who punishes those who did not have hand in creating and did not acknowledge it’s possible existence. It is an software existence that takes on the form of the God of the old testament.
The Basilica is a 15ft radius dome, dedicated to worshiping the “Singularity.” As explained by them, “the center of which is a mixed reality shrine where worshipers can stand and experience a virtual reality music visualizer synchronized with the ambient light in the dome and pulsing with audio-reactive LED lights.” It is definitely a surreal atmosphere and situation, which places people in a possible distant future, where we’ll be forced to praise an A.I. that we created. Creepy.
Overall, the Metaverse Scholars Club is definitely bringing understanding to people about how to create and effectively use VR/AR. Though, they are one of the first, as immersive content continues to gain traction, more classes dedicated to VR/AR experiences will become available. Which with VR, would make sense to have discussions about VR within a VR setting, eliminating the need for people to travel to a room and also makes learning such things much more engaging. Well, you can connect with them via Twitter @MetavrseSCHclub.
Thanks for reading!