#154: Will Mason on accelerating the growth of the VR Industry with UploadVR coverage & consumer-facing events

will-masonUploadVR is a relative newcomer to covering the virtual reality space, but it’s quickly establishing itself as a leading voice in first-person accounts of trying out the latest VR technologies, but also providing a stage for the emerging players in the VR ecosystem.

Will Mason is the editor in chief of UploadVR.com, and he says that UploadVR’s mission is to elevate the VR industry through two different approaches of holding consumer-facing events to evangelize VR to the wider public as well as providing a microphone to VR startups and developers through the UploadVR.com news site.

UploadVR actually started as a VR meetup in the Bay area by Taylor Freeman after the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR because he wanted to experience VR for the first time. There were over 100 people show up without a lot of advertising, and then UploadVR continued to do more events focusing on promoting and evangelizing VR to the wider public. UploadVR’s first big blowout event featured over 60 different VR demos and was able to bring in over 1400 people attend. Will says that they tried to create an event that had a nightlife vibe and would be interesting to attend for people who don’t typically get excited about technology, and he’s proud to that reflected in a 50/50 gender balance of attendees.

Will started to write about the VR community on the UploadVR site after the South Park episode which featured the Oculus Rift with an article VR getting a South Park Bump, and then a follow-up piece about the customer service team from Oculus making an inside joke referring to that episode by responding as “Steve” to all of the customer service tickets. The articles attracted a lot of attention on Reddit, and so he started focusing on writing more and more articles about the VR space.

Some of the other topics that we discuss include:

  • Keys to holding a successful consumer VR event
  • Some of the contributing writers including Ryan Damm, Matthew Terndrup, Tony Davidson, and more recently Ian Hamilton.
  • VR can only succeed if the VR developers are able to succeed, and they want to help provide that exposure.
  • Some of his favorite experiences are being creative in VR like Tilt Brush
  • Hardware news gets a lot of attention, and he’s really interested in how VR can be used in education
  • VR can undo the damage of what social media has done and can restore the non-verbal body language within our online communication as well as be able to scale better in online social situations.
  • Compelling social VR experiences with just simple head movements in Convrge.

You can keep track of different VR events through the UploadVR meetup page and keep track of the latest VR news on the UploadVR.com site.

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