Virtual Reality Is On The Rise And The Black Community Should Jump Aboard Now
"... I want to use this powerful medium to tell our stories and bring our culture to the next level of entertainment."
I recently released my first VR experience, Where Angels Meet, which follows the life of a black man named Marcus, from the perspective of his guardian angel. As a VR creator, I love that this new immersive medium can literally have an audience embody a character and live out a story. However, the most discouraging aspect of being a VR creator is realizing that the audience is very limited — at the moment. So, as I look into putting together my next slate of projects, I pose this question: What's the general consensus on VR in the black community?”
My belief is that interest in VR is high, but the barrier to entry is the key issue. This isn’t necessarily based on my feelings or some research study, but rather real responses from my instagram and in-person demos. Whether it was verbally or through a DM, many people expressed great interest in viewing Where Angels Meet, but either didn’t have a VR headset or felt they were too expensive.
What if you could go to your local movie theater and pay $15 to $20 to see a VR movie, would you do it? I know it may seem a bit premature to ask this now, but this will soon become a reality over the next few years. I'm asking now because I plan to be early to the party with VR content that features people of color. If people of color express an interest in VR now, perhaps we won’t see #vrsowhite trending a few years later.
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My goal as a VR creator is to make immersive experiences that can literally transform the viewer's perspective on life. For those of you who have tried a VR experience, you know what I’m talking about. That first time is memorable! Additionally, I want to use this powerful medium to tell our stories and bring our culture to the next level of entertainment. This wasn't possible during the rise of the television and film industries, but it is with VR. However, it’s up to you, the potential audience of color, to make this desire known.