The Future Iz Meow!

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Overwatch League has no women competitors, can we not make this mistake with VR eSports.

This morning I was shocked to find out that Blizzard's ambitious new esports league Overwatch League had absolutely no women competing.  This news came a little late to me and I had to do some research. Personally, I am not a big fan of Overwatch but I had read some recent stats about Overwatch League.

Overwatch League launched recently with over 400,000 views on the first day. It has been reported that Twitch paid 90 million for the streaming rights. A has a quarter of the Twitch fanbase is women and Overwatch has a very diverse player audience, however, none of the 12 teams in Overwatch League have any women on the teams. Seeing that this is a big-time league with both Blizzard and Twitch behind this it is an outright shame to see this happen.

Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon is one of the top Overwatch players in the world and went on to become the first woman ever to play for a team in South Korea’s top league. Blizzard has tried to push both its Overwatch game and community as one of diversity, yet the pro scene’s most accomplished woman player is nowhere to be found in what is Overwatch's biggest moment. 

I don't play Overwatch but I do play VR games and see VR as the future of eSports. If a problem of inclusion and diversity exists in one of the biggest games being streamed on one of the biggest platforms I do not want to see this passed over to VR. 

Dan Fiden, president of Cloud9, the esports organization that sponsors one of the Overwatch League teams said in a statement to Kotaku that organizations need to play a role in making esports more welcoming and less toxic for players who aren’t men. He believes that involves starting from “the beginning.” 

If it's not “the beginning.” of eSports well it is the beginning of VR eSports and this should not be repeated as that ecosystem grows. Esports, more than traditional sports, have a unique opportunity to really diversify the kind of competitors we get to see. 

There are some that are pushing for more diversity in eSports and those heading the pro NBA2K eSports community have made this a core goal.

"Diversity is one of the most exciting parts to us. You know, you have to have some very serious level of athletic prowess to compete in the NBA. There's a different level of prowess with this. So, males, females, 18-year-olds, 27-year-olds, 80-year-olds, you know, that's the cool part about this for us. Everyone can participate, assuming they have the prowess of being able to play the game at that professional level. For us, it expands our video game audience, and I'm assuming that with the NBA it expands their audience as well, so that's one of the biggest, exciting parts of it for us." -2K's SVP of Basketball Operations Jason Argent

As we grow the VR community I want us all to be aware of not making the same mistakes. As VR eSports grow I want it to grow with diversity and inclusion in mind. To do this it will have to start awareness. Oculus has an amazing diversity program and as the future of VR grows I expect a push into eSport diversity.

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Putting VR into the hands of more people will help diversify the demographics of users but VR evangelists need to be responsible for helping to shape a better future. Seeing first hand how much work Oculus has put into their diversity program has made me not want to see the VR industry repeat the past mistakes of the gaming world. At OC4 the best Echo Arena players had a chance to show us that VR eSports can be the future. Going forward I just want all of us involved in the growth of VR to show that the world of VR is best through diversity and opportunity. 

I really don't have an answer on how to address the future of diversity in VR eSports but I would like to get the conversation started so the future of VR is as bright as we want it to be. 


The top 5 VR compaines in 2016 (for Us). Have a Great NYE! Have a Great 2017

First of all I would like to thank all the people who supported this year. This started of as a pet project so I could learn and immerse my self in the world of Virtual Reality. 

As 2016 started I was in a job I hated but thanks to I was able to get a job in VR that allows me to travel, be plugged in, and also follow my passion. I have learned a lot and due to that job I have I have not been able to put as much time into over the last month. Since the end of 2016 falls on Caturday, I am closing 2016 out with a post. 

So Happy Caturday, Happy NYE, and Happy 2017 to all of you. Here we go.

The Top 5 VR Companies for me in 2016 (in no particular order I think they are all awesome)

Number One


Unity Technologies announced a host of new partnerships and exciting updates in 2016.The dev team I work with uses Unity as our bread and butter. There is a reason it is the game engine helping to push VR into a consumer product.  

With nearly 5 billion downloads of made with Unity mobile games in Q3 alone including  Super Mario Run, Unity continues to enable developers to create content and are now using that for VR and AR.

At the end of the year they released their EditorVR for constructing environments for VR in VR. For now, if you’re building VR games and experiences, EditorVR will likely help you with laying out a scene in VR and building your own custom VR tools

Unity has helped the VR ecosystem with innovation and has made some great hires this year to help chart them into 2017 including hiring innovators such as Tony Parisi and Danny Lange.

As VR grew in the past few years, so has UploadVR. UploadVR has helped create an awareness of VR in the San Francisco Bay Area and is now helping to evangelize globally.  This growing set of influencers in the VR community known for their events and ability to connect the VR world.. Upload VR is not just a blog but a group helping to shape VR not only as a consumer product but through connecting VR to the world of art, cinema, as well as using these connections for good. 

They are also helping to push Unity by hosting Learn Unity events. I hope to take one of these in 2017 so I can better my own skill set. On a personal level I owe something to Upload VR due to the fact that they gave me tickets to their E3 Upload Party. If I had not received those tickets I may have not went to LA to try to get in to E3 as press. I was successful in getting press for CatsAndVR and thus my 2016 VR year actually seemed like a reality.

Number Three

Mindshow is a product built from a passion for VR. Not just because VR is cool but because we were promised the future when we were kids and still seeking it. 

Mindshow is Walt Disney. Mindshow is Jim Henson. Mindshow is Steve Jobs. Mindshow is the spark in humanity that made them create characters out of the stars. Mindshow are the muppet babies playing make believe come to life. 

It was hard to try to write something about Mindshow after I first tried it at VRLA because everyone who tried it in the media loved it to some degree and has been able to post before me. What do you write to be different. can't compete with UploadVR, Techcrunch, VRScout , and the other cool kids in resources, turnaround time, etc.

Mindshow reminded me I did not start the site to do that at all but instead I started it to learn and to grow. In the end maybe this post did not fully explain what Mindshow really is or do the experience justice, but neither did the trailer. You have to experience it to really know that this is what we have been seeking in VR the whole time. You see in the end what Mindshow really is can just be described as inspiration captured and then shared for the sake of shared inspiration itself. Inspiration is what I walked away with from VRLA. Inspiration is what I walked away with from Mindshow.

Number Four

As you may know, TheWaveVR recently made headlines for raising $2.5 million to create a VR music ecosystem.

TheWaveVR is a VR platform for people who love music, enabling them to view, host and socialize in live and recorded shows worldwide, anytime, anywhere.  TheWave creates a VR venue where artists can perform live music by simply importing their tracks, customizing the visuals of the venue, and sharing virtual shows. Fans can attend via most major VR head mounted displays, interact with performers, socialize with friends, dance, paint and more.

One of the major highlights of the VRLA Summer Expo was the VR Rave presented by Skullcandy, Subpac, WeLens, and TheWaveVR. Attendees like comedian Reggie Watts got to experience a next level audio visual experience that incorporated 3D visuals as well as the ability to experience it all in VR.

Number Five

Thank you everyone this year. I started this year just wanting to be part of the VR world and now I have an HTC Vive, Playstation VR, and Gear VR I can call my own. I used to get me a paying job in VR. I have traveled all over America evangelizing VR for my day job and got to meet a bunch of pro Football players.

I watched two Warriors games from a private suite because of VR and got to travel to 3 new states due to VR. All in all I think was a worthwhile investment. I look forward to growing, writing more, learning Unity, going to VR meetups, and being a member of the VR community. Have a safe NYE and great 2017. 


Bobby Venom







Oculus Connect 3 Developer Session Videos are now up to view.

If you were not able to make Oculus Connect 3 this year here is a Youtube playlist with 32 videos from the event included:

I was able to attend quite a few and some highlights for me include the sessions below. Check them out to really get a great understanding of not only what Oculus and Facebook are doing with VR but how the industry is developing as a whole. 

The proliferation of 360 content coupled with the new WebVR standard promises to bring a wave of fresh content to VR. Using familiar tools such as WebGL, three.js, and React, developers can easily create interactive 3D and 360 experiences.
Virtual reality has changed how we create. From games and movies, to experiences and tools-we're just beginning to see what's possible. But what happens when you take traditional artistic methods and transfer them to VR? Learn how Oculus is creating new tools, specifically for Touch, to help more people express themselves.
VR has become a powerful empathy machine. What is it about this new medium that's so effective at connecting humanity? This panel discusses how we can continue to harness the power of VR for positive social change.
Virtual Reality Pulse