Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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For my next trick: League of Utah Writers Fall Conference… Virtual Reality Class

Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 28, 2017

Now that Salt Lake Comic Con 2017 is in the rear-view mirror, we’ve got the League of Utah Writers Fall Conference coming up. If you are interested, you can sign up here:

League of Utah Writers Fall Conference 2017

This is a two-day conference, but for the first time ever, the first day (Friday) can be attended FOR FREE! You will need to get a ticket, but the ticket price for the first day is $0. Saturday will cost more, and of course there’s a really cool banquet on Saturday Night that’s very worthwhile to attend, complete with awards and a keynote address and some amazing stuff. Also, this year we have two special guests – Kevin J. Anderson and J. H. Moncrieff!

This is a conference for professional development as a writer, from the basics of learning the craft, to specific topics of interest, to business and marketing, you name it. It’s a fantastic place to network and get to know other writers across multiple disciplines – from journalists and non-fiction writers, to the hardcore literary fiction folks, to us weirdos who write pulpy speculative fiction. I have a bias towards the latter, but respect for all of them.

If you are in Utah and are an aspiring or developing writer, you absolutely should come to the conference. Do what you can to take Friday off and come for free, if you can swing it. I learn a bit each time, and I get inspired. Anything that lights a fire under my butt is worthwhile.

My specific contribution this time around will be a glorious melding of interests. The presentation is entitled, “The Matrix is Here: The Reality of Virtual Reality.” John Olsen and I will talk about virtual reality – past, present, and future – with an eye towards dealing with it in written literature (mainly fiction) in a believable fashion now that it’s a thing with which people are slowly gaining familiarity. It’s wild, it’s fun, and it’s got a TON of game-changing potential in the near future. Want examples? A sneak preview? Here you go:

Are you creating a mystery / courtroom drama? One of the uses for VR now is to improve visualization of a crime scene. VR is vastly improving the ability to understand scale and distance, something images and photos projected in a 2D surface don’t do well. Could we see juries visiting the crime scene in VR? Some companies are already working on it.

Can VR be used to treat emotional or even physical disorders? (Short answer, yes and yes, and it’s already being done.)

As someone who suffers from VR sickness pretty easily, I’ll of course be talking about the causes of VR sickness (as far as we know), and how the reality hasn’t matched our expectations because the human brain and body are a good deal more complicated and interesting than we sometimes give them credit for.

What kind of improvements in VR technology can we expect in the next 5 years? 10 years? 20?

We are teaching the class on Friday at 1:00 PM, so it’ll be possible to attend on the free ticket. 🙂  Hopefully I’ll see you there!

 


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