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XRDC speaker Q&A: Douglas North Cook explores the boundaries of VR

At XRDC 2018, attendees will have the opportunity to interact not only with expert VR technicians, but also designers working to push the boundaries of what's possible in the virtual world.

One of those designers, Doug North Cook, will be joining a panel of expert designers from Microsoft, Unity, and more to talk about his virtual reality design process. To introduce you to North Cook and the great work he's done, we reached out to him for a quick Q&A that you can now read below!

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR.

I have been working for the last few years developing games and narrative experiences for a variety of platforms. Most recently I worked on a short conceptual piece with artist Liz Edwards called Writing the End. Apart from my development work I have been spending a lot of my time working to help others learn and advance in this space. I am on faculty at Chatham University where I am starting up a dedicated 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Immersive Media. I also work with the Fallingwater Institute where I run a week long design residency for immersive professionals.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.

Our panel will focus on looking deep down into the design process of several important and influential voices in immersive technology. We hope to be able to provide insight that will give creators new ways of approaching problems.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

What excites me most is the potentials that immersive technologies have to re-humanize our experience of technology. It is an opportunity to be active, social, creative, and empowered in a way that other technologies do not allow.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?

Hmmmmm. I hope that the lead designer on the Nintendo Virtual Boy is slinking around so I can shake their hand.

What are some of the unique experiments out of Chatham that your students have been working on?

While we gear up for the 2019 launch of our immersive media program we have been running VR design courses with a group or art and design students. The work they have produced is incredible. In one semester, with no prior experience, they all produce a room scale experience. We saw demolition rooms, short narrative oddities, job interview simulator, pumpkin carving, gardening with bugs, and more. I am really excited to see what they decide to work on this semester.
XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

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