Wherein I gush about Farpoint

I was hesitant to buy Farpoint on its release last week. More precisely, I was hesitant to buy Farpoint and the Aim controller on their release last week. I’m okay to spend $50 on a game and I’m okay to spend $30 on a new controller, but when they come bundled together I feel like I’m spending $80 on a game. If the game sucked and I spent $80 on it then I’m going to have a hard time with that situation. Fortunately, upon buying the bundle, what I got was the exact opposite of suck; Farpoint is the best virtual reality experience I’ve had to date. Continue reading “Wherein I gush about Farpoint”

VRLA Summer Expo 2017 recap

Los Angeles has quickly become a hot scene for virtual reality. We have a new IMAX virtual reality theater, the Upload LA virtual reality training and networking space, and the VRLA Expo. The Expo took place this past weekend and I was fortunate enough to attend on Saturday, making it my second time at the event. By comparing the 2016 gathering to the 2017 gathering it’s clear that the Los Angeles VR scene is getting hotter still. According to co-founder of VRLA, Cosmo Sharf, there were “over 170 exhibitors this year, filling out the single largest hall of the L.A. Convention Center.” For reference, the first meeting in 2014 had 150 overall attendees. Continue reading “VRLA Summer Expo 2017 recap”

My visit to IMAX VR Experience Centre

A couple of weeks ago the first virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles opened: the IMAX VR Experience Centre. I had planned to wait a month or so before visiting but enthusiasm got the better of me and I impulse bought tickets for Monday, February 20, 2017. Even though I’m pretty well experienced with virtual reality I hadn’t yet tried an arcade. Plus IMAX VR was offering things that I don’t have access to at home. I went in jittery with excited fanboy adrenaline. Continue reading “My visit to IMAX VR Experience Centre”

Dodocase SMARTvr review

For a couple of years now I’ve been finding 360 videos on YouTube, adding them to a watch list, and neglecting to watch them. I keep telling myself that I’ll get to them during my lunch hours, while I eat in my truck. I never do. The primary reason is because I never bring along a headset. Both my Viewmaster and Gear VR are too cumbersome for the task and I really should just get something that can live in the truck. It’s with that in mind that I backed the Indiegogo campaign for Dodocase’s SMARTvr pocket-sized viewer back in March 2016. It arrived over the weekend. Now that I’ve used it for a few days here’s what I think about it. Continue reading “Dodocase SMARTvr review”

My favorite apps after one year with Gear VR

One of the reasons why I first bought a Samsung smartphone was because there were accessories for it. For years I was jealous of all the fabulous add-ons that iPhone users could buy. As soon as Samsung’s Galaxy line was a break out hit I got in on it. I bought all of the add-ons. Continue reading “My favorite apps after one year with Gear VR”

VRLA Summer Expo 2016 recap

Virtual reality is in its “Wild West” days. I’ve heard that phrase oft repeated but as a consumer of VR my exposure to the Wild West is limited to trying to make the right choice when I buy something. On August 6, 2016 I visited the VRLA Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center and there I got to understand the saying a little better. Continue reading “VRLA Summer Expo 2016 recap”

Review of The New Revolution VR coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain

When I was a kid visiting Magic Mountain in the 1970s the Great American Revolution roller coaster was a big deal. I remember waiting in line for it for hours. I remember almost chickening out except my friend dared me to ride it. I also remember doing the same thing to him. Two decades later, when that same friend and I were back in the park, the Revolution was only worth riding if there was no line. It was eclipsed by bigger, newer attractions. Two decades after that, nearly forty years after the Revolution was built, Six Flags had a tired coaster on its hands, one that is a centerpiece of the park and one that packed diminished thrills. Their solution was to fit the coaster with virtual reality goggles and allow riders the option of riding with or without wearing them.

Continue reading “Review of The New Revolution VR coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain”

San Diego Comic-Con 2016 recap: VR Panels

It’s easy to forget that San Diego Comic-Con is a non-profit entity that hosts educational panels. For decades they have offered how-to panels for budding writers, storytellers, illustrators, makers, and more. This year they offered panels related to virtual reality as well. SDCC keeps count of how many people attend each panel and based upon the attendance I saw this year I think next year there will be plenty more VR discussion at the con. Continue reading “San Diego Comic-Con 2016 recap: VR Panels”

San Diego Comic-Con 2016 recap: VR Experiences

San Diego Comic-Con is a venerated institution of pop culture. What began as a gathering of comic book fans decades ago has since assimilated fandoms for fantasy and science fiction, movies, television, tabletop and video games, and now virtual reality. VR has been present at SDCC for the past few years but in limited capacity. 2016 changed that, with virtual reality being visible everywhere in and around the San Diego Convention Center. There were many opportunities to try VR experiences, there were daily panels discussing the topic of VR, and there were prosumer meet-ups. Continue reading “San Diego Comic-Con 2016 recap: VR Experiences”