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A Tale Of What Wasn’t, But Should Have Been: I Missed GDC

Kevin VR

Last week my column took a short absence so that I could prepare for my trip. I was supposed to have attended GDC 2016 last week, but unfortunately, it was just not meant to be. Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from leaving the city.

Rather than playing with all the fancy new VR games, and having exclusive meetings with hardware makers and game developers, I was stuck at home, living vicariously through my colleagues as they scrambled to take on my work load on top of their own.

I was supposed to meet with Sulon, to see the fancy new tether-free Sulon Q mixed-reality headset, which can draw animations in 3D over your real world space. I was also supposed to meet with Vrvana, another company working on a mixed-reality headset, called Totem. Both Sulon and Vrvanna are Canadian companies hoping to make a big impression on the VR and AR markets, and I was looking forward to seeing their wares.

Vrvana Totem
Vrvana Totem

Of course, there were going to be meetings with far less obscure companies. Companies that any gamer worth his graphics card would recognize, such as Epic, Oculus and Valve. Epic was demonstrating its upcoming VR Unreal Editor that lets you edit worlds while being inside them. Oculus had a collection of new games it was showing off ahead of next week’s launch of the Rift headset. The company was showing off a dozen or more VR multiplayer games at its booth. Valve revealed a new set of mini games for the Vive called The Lab. These games are based in the Portal universe and included the already famous Aperture Science Robot Repair, but it also includes things like a bow and arrow game and other short experiences to get you familiar with VR.

This article was supposed to be about my experience at GDC. I could have told you what it’s like to experience a conference meant for game designers. I should have had the chance to try all of those incredible experiences and more, but I had to miss them because the border said I need a visa to work in the US. I missed one of the most important events for VR this year, because of an immigration law technicality. I live in Canada, and I work for a US company, so I can’t work on US soil. Go figure.The Lab

Next week, I should have something hardware-related.

Kevin Carbotte is Senior Editor, Hardware for He knows a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. The opinions in his columns are his and his alone, but you are free to have them.

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