SXSW was a giant boatload of PR for VR. WIth a surprise visit from the cast and director Steven Spielberg of Ready Player One showing up for a preview screening, articles and opinions flew out across the Internet. Many were good, some found it heavy handed, others complained that the pop cultural reference, though fun, were disappointingly superficial, or that the envisioned real world scenario was too dystopian (um, have you read the news lately.)

That said, and as I mentioned in my article about why VR will have a big year, the permeation of VR and AR as a concept into the mainstream is officially here. So I am all for it. We can get to nuance and refinement again shortly, for now...educate the public and get them excited.Meanwhile Paul Tassi had some sobering but completely valid points about why it won't make much difference in the bigger picture towards VR adoption, and this must be taken to heart, as this is the very nature of our work here.

Steve Gaynor of Fullbright Company joins VRTO2018

And to that point, I am very happy to announce some of our first publicly confirmed speakers for VRTO 2018 - including Steve Gaynor - Co-Founder and Lead Game Designer for award winning games "Gone Home" and "Tacoma" (Gone Home, is what was tipped me from covering indie games to going back into VR full bore), Joanna Popper - Global Lead of VR and LBE for HP, author/producer Charlie Fink, Amanda Shelby from The Ego Studio who most recently helped to run the New Frontiers VR pavilion at Sundance, Jacqueline Assar of Coresights at MIT and some of our favorite local leaders like Shachar "Vice" Weis of Packet9, Elli Raynai of Cinehackers, Paul Darvasi at York University and Sophie Howe from Xesto.

We have a limited number of VRTO2018 Early Bird tickets now on sale for the conference, General Admission and less than a dozen All Access passes. Again. training and workshop tickets will be announced in the coming weeks, so if you're interested in those you may want to go for the All Access or wait and see when those come online. If you are mainly interested in the conference, now is the time!


Collaborative Human Immersive Interaction Lab (CHISIL) presents
April 7th & 8th, 2018

The University of Toronto’s Collaborative Human ImmerSive Interactions Lab (CHISIL VR), in conjunction with Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Hospital for Sick Children, will be hosting the first Realities in Medicine Conference. This conference will bring together healthcare professionals, medical educators, and clinical researchers to connect with developers and the virtual, augmented, and mixed reality industry. VRTO is proud to be a media partner for this event.

Register before March 23, 2018 to take advantage of early bird prices!

Have a good week and travel safe!



Here's stuff I liked from the week:

If you have a groundbreaking news story you'd like to see in the next issues of the VRTO newsletter, VR/AR related material you'd like to advertise, sponsor, present on a topic, have some feedback or want to list an Event at the VRTO Event Calendar, please email me at

FIVARS 2018 Submissions are now open! Submit your Immersive narrative work at Early Bird Prices through April 15th via the portal at WithoutABox. Thank you to for this featured interview about FIVARS 2018 and its philosophy!

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