Closing the digital divide

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XR:WA Conference
XR:WA Conference 17-19 September. Image Supplied.

Gamers and fans of virtual and augmented reality – listen up!

The annual XR:WA Conference and Expo returns to Perth from 17 to 19 September, and entry is free.

Spread across three days and taking place at multiple locations in the Perth Cultural Centre, this major conference and public exhibition showcases the ideas, works, technology and constantly evolving environment of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and the digital screen industry.

The program is unlike any other screen-based conference in Australia and features industry talks and panels with local, national and international guests – a conference not to be missed.

XR:WA Director Richard Sowada believes that this year’s XR:WA Conference and Expo will continue existing conversations about “breaking down silos” and seeks to “unite the divergent industry sectors together in an investigation of new media convergence”.

It also presents an opportunity for fans to engage in dialogue to voice their opinions on VR, AR and the future of gaming.

This fascinating period in the tech and media world provides the entire industry and community with the opportunity to assess the traditional ways of creating and viewing all kinds of work and our role in connecting audiences and industry with these opportunities, is enormously exciting.

Richard Sowada, XR:WA Director

The popular Games and Experience Emporium will be a centrepiece of the conference. It encourages exploration of VR and AR tech and features VR/AR experiences, live untethered VR team gameplay and a 360’ cinema showcasing a range of local and international cinematic works.

Gamers at a previous XR:WA Conference and Expo. Image Supplied.

What the XR:WA else?

XR:WA also presents trade exhibitions and workshops with keynote speakers delving into the immersive and digital screen-based forms of art, entertainment, education and training, science and research, and business.

The WA State Library will host a range of workshops and panels commencing with an Industry Day on Friday 17 September where the local immersive sector will be showing off their wares with a special VR and immersive field day allowing punters to speak directly with developers and companies forging new directions in this exciting area.

An example of AR at a previous XR:WA Conference and Expo. Image Supplied.

Other program highlights include:

  • Code-A-Story Workshop: a family-friendly workshop where you’ll learn to program a robot to map out a story (suitable for children aged 5-9, bookings are free but online registration is essential
  • Reflections of Iwanoff: created as part of the WA Reflections partnership with Screenwest, this innovative new work brings the original plans of a mid-20th century brutalist design of renowned West Australian architecture icon, Iwan Iwanoff, to life via 3D rendering and a bespoke tour of the home by Restoration Australia host Stuart Harrison
  • Unknown Pleasures: Immersive Tech in Care, a panel discussion exploring the extraordinary leaps and bounds of immersive technology and applications in health and healthcare
  • Social innovation: Closing the Divide – a panel discussion exploring the impact of limited access to digital technologies in a digital age
  • Deepfake: a panel discussion exploring speech-to-speech voice cloning in screen culture, and
  • Game Narratives to Cinema Stories: a panel discussion exploring the journey of computer game stories to film with Mortal Kombat director Simon McQuoid.

The WA Museum Boola Bardip will host Game Jam at Hackett Hall in association with the Perth Games Festival which features live free-roam VR experiences, locally developed table-top and computer games and all manner of surprises. Meet the makers, explore the career possibilities and see what’s going on locally over the weekend.

After-hours networking experiences will be held at the Alex Hotel.

All events and experiences are free and no registration is required unless otherwise stated. For more information about the programs, click here.

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