Actor Zachary Levi has raised over $795,000 for Operation Smile through VR demos at events by his company the Nerd Machine.
With the slew of virtual reality brand announcements coming out of Comic-Con, one actor is taking the lead to use VR for a good cause. Actor Zachary Levi, know for his roles in Chuck and the upcoming Heroes Reborn, is using virtual reality to help raise money for Operation Smile.
Levi’s company, the Nerd Machine, is hosting an offsite Comic-Con event called Nerd HQ. The free event will take over the New Children’s Museum in downtown San Diego and offer attendees a hands-on taste of virtual reality hardware and experiences.
Sony and AMD have signed on as sponsors for Nerd HQ 2015 where attendees can try out Sony’s Morpheus and dive into games like The London Heist and The Kitchen. Since 2013, Nerd HQ has offered fans a preview of virtual reality experiences with the Virtuix Omni multi-directional treadmill and Oculus Rift.
Levi created Nerd HQ as a sanctuary for pop culture fans making the annual pilgrimage to San Diego Comic Con. The Nerd HQ event will host celebrity Cause panels and will be livestreamed to the world via IGN. Donations raised from the panels will be given to Operation Smile, a global children’s charity organization that helps treat facial deformities such as cleft palates. Nerd HQ has raised over $795,000 for Operation Smile to date.
“I’ve always been fascinated with VR, as a lot of people have been even if they’re not super into tech,” Levi says. “We’re not entering The Matrix yet, but everything I’ve experienced with Oculus and Morpheus shows that we’re rapidly heading towards a world where virtual reality is a reality.”
Levi’s Nerd HQ is a great chance for the public to experience the latest in VR hardware like the Sony Morpheus, which has previously only been shown at more private industry events like CES and E3.
It’s great to see TV shows showing off their VR experience at Comic-Con like Syfy’s The Expanse and movie studios like Legendary’s Warcraft, but playing some games in VR and raising money for charity at the same time is a mix we can really get behind.