Oculus Launch Pad Week 1: the beginnings

Posted by Derek Shiu on Friday, June 23, 2017 Under: Oculus Launch Pad
So many ideas...

First and foremost, last weekend meeting the OLP17 crew was a blast, plain and simple.

Now, let's get this thing rolling!
Where to start... hmm. There are a lot of different things I want to cover, but I think I'm going to start these entries with my project ideas and how they've changed. I submitted the application process for OLP17 with my experiences in the game industry, how it lacks diversity, propels stereotypes, and generalizes entire cultures. As a 2nd generation Chinese American, my life and culture is built upon a wonderful blending of traditional Chinese and American experiences. In my 7 years of work as an animator in the video game industry, I've seen my entire culture condensed down to bamboo, dragons, the colors red and gold, broken english, and rice paddy hats. I've also had the unfortunate opportunity to see a multitude of several Asian cultures combined as one ugly and ignorant mass.

At the beginning of my career, I lacked the experience and voice to speak out and correct those creative decisions. I let a few things pass without speaking out because I felt I had no place of power in an industry dominated by white men. As I have developed and grew my professional career, I have also developed my own sense of voice, and passions towards social justice. My drive has gotten me to where I am today, and this privileged opportunity at Oculus Launch Pad. With my years of experience and connections to other professionals in various disciplines, I can use my voice to create my own projects that celebrate diversity and understanding.

I originally developed an idea that exposed microaggressions and how they exist throughout our lives. I wanted to educate and inform those with privilege, about the microaggressions against the oppressed and minority. That racism, is opaque, it is blatant and loud. Microaggressions are subtle, underhanded, and indirect ways of showing power and ignorance towards those affected; it is not limited to race, it also affects gender, and sexual preference among many others. I had a basic vision of what that experience would look like, and how it would feel but I couldn't answer a couple of key questions; why VR? what makes this stand out from other mediums? I didn't have the interactive component figured out and it seemed more and more like it should be done as a 360 film. My background isn't in filmography so rather than attempt something new and untested for myself, I have gone back to the drawing board.

I am lucky enough to be working with another individual with a social justice lens, and with the support of my community, we will be refining our new idea to something more tangible and coherent in the coming weeks. We have already created our timeline and milestone track. Our goal remains the same, not to leave the user abused and broken, but to bring awareness and understanding to those who do not understand the impact their actions and thoughts have on fellow human beings.

This is what I am going to do with my knowledge. This is what I am going to do with this opportunity. 

In : Oculus Launch Pad 

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