Cris Miranda is the host of the EnterVR podcast, and he talks about how his first mind-blowing experiences with VR motivated him to start a podcast so that he could contribute to the VR movement. He sees that the technical details of VR will be lost in translation in the future, and prefers going down the VR rabbit hole in order to get to the deeper, universal aspects of our humanity including our hopes, fears, motivations and insecurities.

cris-mirandaCris recalls his first VR experiences at the first SVVR meet up, and how that contributed to him starting his podcast. Some of the VR experiences that have stick out for him include Titans of Space, Minecrift, Half Life VR and Time Rifters. He prefers experiences that are outside of the box, like Titans of Space.

I’ve observed that Cris is someone who likes to address the more philosophical aspects of VR, and he also isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo and question taboos. So it’s no surprise that he was the only one that I talked to at SVVRCon, who was questioning why we weren’t seeing more porn VR tech like teledildonics represented. He sees that adult entertainment is going to be a huge driving factor in adoption and innovation in VR, but yet no one was openly talking about it.

I agree that porn will be a huge application for VR and will revolutionize sex just as the WIRED cover story on Palmer Luckey alluded to by saying, “This kid is about to change, gaming, movies, TV, music, design, medicine, sex, sports, art, travel, social networking, education — and reality.”

The counterpoint that I would made to Cris and would elaborate on here is that there is a tremendous lack of diversity within the New VR space with only one female speaker and 42 male speakers at SVVRCon. There was a lack of diversity in attendees at SVVRCon, and this lack of diversity is reflected in my guests on this podcast.

I don’t foresee pornography applications and technological innovations being integrated within the mainstream VR gatherings due to the long history of sexist incidents within the tech and gaming industry. I’d also argue that it would not create “a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, or religion.”

This passage is from GDC’s code of conduct statement, which is a part of the movement to include more diversity within tech conferences. Ashe Dryden wrote up two excellent blogs posts about So you want to put on a diverse, inclusive conference and a follow-up Increasing Diversity at Your Conference.

Two of the main recommendations that Ashe and the geek feminism community are recommending to tech conferences is to create a diversity statement and an anti-harassment policy. O’Reilly is a one of the leaders, and it’s worth reading through their Diversity Statement. The other statement is an anti-harrasment policy, which is also commonly referred to as a Code of Conduct statement.

This is one of the passages in the GDC’s code of conduct: “Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides);”

I’d argue that including porn applications within a public VR conference would have the side effect of not creating a safe and welcoming environment for all genders and religions. That’s not to say that it’s morally bad, wrong, or not worth exploring. Porn is obviously going to bring a lot of innovation and adoption to VR.

But if we want to see VR move into the mainstream, then I think it’s worth calling out that this new, consumer VR community currently has a pretty big lack of diversity issue that is worth addressing first. If you’re interested in learning more, then I’d recommend reading through Ashe’s two posts on inclusivity and diversity for more details.

Have thoughts? Share them on Twitter or this Reddit discussion here.

TOPICS

  • 0:00 – Intro and trying the Rift for the first time in 2012
  • 0:28 – It was as the Computer Science History Museum at the first SVVR meet-up, and he tried Proton Pulse. It was a mind-blowing experience. Tried Half-Life 2.
  • 0:50 – Half-Life 2. Like being somewhere else and feels physical
  • 1:17 – Living in the bay area, and how that led to starting the EnterVR podcast.
  • 1:55 – Meet people at the meet-up, and the following up with people from online, r/oculus, and elsewhere online.
  • 2:18 – Why did you decide to do a podcast?
  • 2:45 – What interviews stick out for you? Matthew G from Relaxation in VR (aka /u/VMU_kiss). Enjoys the process of peaking down the rabbit hole with guests.
  • 3:34 – What were some of the VR experiences that stick out for you? Titans of Space, Minecrift, Half Life VR and Time Rifters. Experiences that are outside of the box
  • 4:21 – What is driving your questions and what you’re trying to figure out about VR? The details of the tech will be lost in translation in the future. Trying to get down to the universal aspect of our humanity in terms of motivations, fears, endurance, insecurities and hopes. Don’t focus too much on the details
  • 5:15 – Where do you see this going? Upset that there isn’t more porn at SVVRCon. Cris says that Porn will be the killer app and a driving factor of virtual reality, and wonders why there isn’t more teledildonics tech there. Grateful to be in the presence of VR giants.
  • 6:34 – Q: Counterpoints to porn. Cultural issues. Lack of diversity on the speaker panels. Issue of integrating porn into a mainstream conference, and is not welcoming of diversity – A: Cris says that we’re here to ultimately make money with VR. Porn is going to be make money in VR. We’re adults, and so why can’t we have a blank slate with what adult entertainment could be? We don’t have to bring the perils of porn piracy tube sites like Pornhub to the metaverse.
  • 8:25 – Q: Don’t foresee porn being integrated into mainstream culture or VR tech conferences. A: Porn is dying because of the Internet. Porn will always exist, but Internet piracy is eating at their bottom line. And so the porn industry will have to innovate with VR to survive.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

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