December VR/AR News #1: Gender and tech, murder in VR and dinosaurs

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Craig Newmark, the founder of craigslist, highlights five women in VR as part of the Women Startup Challenge, which is “showcasing and funding innovative, women-led startups focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) that are solving problems for people, businesses and the planet.” Newmark’s picks include Liv Erickson, a VR developer at Microsoft who was part of the team that built the Ocoulus Rift, and Elizabeth L. Reede, the cofounder and CEO of WoofbertVR, which “creates immersive experiences and enriched content to promote art education.”


Screenshot from Disfellowshipped.

Reveal, a journalism podcast through the Center for Investigative Journalism, has launched its first VR project. Disfellowshipped focuses on child sexual abuse among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Reveal collaborated with the startup Vragments, which built a tool called Fader that makes it easy to turn reporting into VR experiences. “The answer is to give the viewer a more intimate understanding of a character and her experience. The technology allows us to put you in the reporter’s shoes, to feel what it’s like to sit with people as they look you in the eye and tell you their story, to visit their towns and the places that affected their lives.”

New Atlas has six reasons to embrace VR, ranging from “VR makes bona fide strides against complex modern problems” to “It’s not just a toy, it’s a medium.”

For The Mary Sue, Felix Morgan writes that now “technology is practically ubiquitous, the next battle for VR will be over content.” Morgan argues that this content needs diverse creators, especially given the power of VR. “Because while the need for more diverse stories is nothing new, the technology behind VR makes it particularly suited for intimacy and empathy.”

To pounder: Should murder in VR be illegal?

For fun: Why dinosaurs are becoming so popular in VR.

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