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Game culture expo GameOn, which will be hosted on the 29th and 30th of October, invites the attendees to get a closer look at virtual reality. The exposition space will showcase a multitude of VR applications and devices. The event will give you the chance to try out and compare HTC Vive, Oculus Rifts and PlayStation VR – hopefully, this will be a fitting introduction into virtual reality!
Last week’s Oculus Connect conference saw Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg present a new virtual reality solution that allows people around the world to communicate through the Oculus Rift. Lithuanian developers are also hard at work developing similar marvels that would empower you to interact with far-flung friends as if you were in the same room. Thousands of IT companies all across the globe are throwing their hats into the VR ring, which points to an imminent boom in technological advances; advances that won’t be limited to entertainment, but also benefit science, education, architecture and communications.
The signs of VR’s popularity are already easy to see. Devices that can to transport users to virtual worlds are expensive for individuals, but that is not holding back companies from dabbling VR rental. Neither does that stop developers everywhere – including Lithuania – from creating software and games aimed at this platform. It bears noting that even if “games” and “gameplay” are words often mentioned in talks about VR, game developers aren’t the only ones working with it. Medical fields already employ bulky and expensive VR devices, so they are less surprised by the recent blossoming of the industry and more keen to extend the reach of medical VR by putting it in the homes of the patients.
Virtual reality is of interest to creators of movies, too. Documentary creators can finally take the viewer with them wherever they go, be it a trip under the sea, a humanitarian mission in some hotspot or an afternoon spent with some famous artists. It’s no longer just a video, but an experience that the viewer is a part of. This particular reason is why the human resource experts show interest in VR: difficult training that tests the employee’s reaction to extreme situations can be carried out in the office. Meanwhile, architects finally get the opportunity to give their clients a walking tour of a building that only exists in the blueprints. And unlike said blueprints, VR doesn’t distort measurements and proportions – it lets you experience the rooms and spaces like you were there.
Both local and foreign developers will show off the newest and hottest stuff in VR tech. GameOn VR space will be home to booths of developers hailing from Sweden, Estonia, UK and other countries.
Several Lithuanian companies will present their newest achievements in the VR field. Hurl, a new VR puzzle game, will be presented by the TeleSoftas studio from Kaunas. The indie zone will also feature Craft Keep VR, an acclaimed game by Arvydas Žemaitis. He will also talk about migration of gaming into VR, demonstrate the unique features of Craft Keep VR and provide a bevy of other surprises for the viewers. Other developers that will share their vision for VR includes the Dreamerlink team from Vilnius that will present their VR social network for gamers and RPG fans.
Even deeper insights into VR will be presented in the the game developer conference. Faviana Vangelius, the co-founder of the Swedish company SVRVIVE, will share her experiences of working with VR as well as her predictions about the future of the medium.
The thing we are experiencing is not yet the real boom of VR. VR has simply reached the point where it becomes accessible and usable in daily life. It has solved difficult technical issues which allows us to almost bodily access new worlds and the fantasies of the developers. The devices are still relatively unwieldy and strewn with wires, and a full VR experience in your own home requires an investment of about 2000 euros. But that which is expensive to the individual is a minor issue to businesses, so we are already celebrating the ascension of VR. This technology will not disappear, it will be improved upon and optimized, and we can only wait for the next generation of devices and hope that both their price and shape will fit most homes. It is a technology that everyone will soon desire, only they don’t know it yet.
Artūras Rumiancevas, game critic and one of the conference organisers
Artūras thinks, that the cornucopia of VR technologies and experts at GameOn will be an another notch on the conference’s belt of records. No other event in the Baltic countries could boast so many technology demonstrators and experts that will not only present their own projects, but also tell you how VR will change all of our lives.