First of all I want to thank everyone at Oculus and Facebook for allowing me to be part of an amazing opportunity. Words cannot describe how I feel on Week 1 Day 1...wait they can. Nervous, Anxiety Filled, Hopeful, and most importantly grateful for allowing me to be included among the 99 other talented individuals in the second Launch Pad class. So many individuals to thank but I will start with Ebony Peay Ramirez-Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at Oculus VR. Without her pushing how important Launchpad is the event may not have happened this weekend. She put together an excellent event with some amazing mentors and organizers including Robin Hunicke, Sarah Stumbo, Chris Pruett, Jason Rubin, Yelena Rachitsky, Jewel Lim, Bernard Yee, Dorian Dargan, Isabel Tewes, Trevor Dasch, Stephanie Vazquez and sooo many more including the awesome legal department who had a presentation FULL of Cats. I'm just going to say to Launch Pad Class 2 lets do the best we can so Launch Pad Class 3 gets the same opportunity.
One year ago I started CatsAndVR.com in order to not just be a spectator of VR but to be an active participant. However my Oculus story goes way back to E3 2013 when I stumbled across CCP's EVE VR demo and got to try DK1. Eventually I pre ordered a DK2....and then canceled it cause I needed to take care of some unfortunate financial moments. I regretted that for a long time until I started CatsAndVR.
When I woke up one morning and decided my two passions in life was to be cats and vr as well as the fact that URL was still available I decided this was my chance at VR redemption. It has been a very interesting journey. Around this time last year I took a Greyhound to LA to see if I could get into E3. They said my Alexa ranking was not high enough and I stood there for about 30 minutes expounding on my passion for VR. I eventualy won them over. I went to E3 that year for one singular reason, Virtual Reality.
I was really excited to try the PS VR cause it looked like a way for me to finally afford high quality VR. Unfortunately the Playstation booth was a cluster. I was a bit down but decided to go to Oculus. It was there I met a momentary savior who kept my inspiration alive. While waiting in line to check out a demo I was approached by an Oculus rep who liked my look (lol) and asked if I wanted to play a game against Palmer Luckey who from now on shall be referred to as The Unspoken. So in reality the first time I ever used the Touch controls was against Palm...The Unspoken on the E3 FB Live stream. I went from not getting into E3 to that! You can check me playing Dead And Buried with the Unspoken one in the video below at the 51 minute mark.
So its about a year later and I just finished the start of Oculus Launchpad and here is my next move.
An amazing friend of mine Alex Q Ryan was giving me a pass to go to E3....I just turned it down to start working on my Launchpad project right away so the next time I go to E3 I don't go as a spectator but I will go as an active participant. I am very nervous as though I have supported a team with Unity on both the product and business side enough to push them to the Super Bowl I have never had to be Lebron James. Well now is the time I have to be a witness for my own development.
There were so many amazing people I met from those trying to show their parents that they made the right choice pursuing art to those daring to show the world that the time is right to use technology for the greater good of inclusion. I am humbled to have been included in LaunchPad Class 2 and look forward to what these New Mutants of VR bring forward to the world.....and really hope I can bring to the world what I have in my crazy universe of a mind.
So Mote It Be.
Week 1 Day 1.
PS Mad props to my new BFF David Solito who allowed me to crash out as his place for the weekend so I can use my Launchpad cash for development. Facebook is SUPER lucky to have you as part of the team.