Games For Change’s XR Summit Was An Unmitigated Success

Expert researchers and veteran developers collide at XR For Change.

Having just completed its sixteenth annual run, Games For Change brought artists, creators, advocates, researchers, policymakers, techies and designers together to talk shop and fantasize about the future of the games industry.

This years event included a unique three-day XR Brain Jam hackathon tacked on as a pre-conference challenge, as well as a one-day, aptly named XR For Change Summit, which was held on June 17th.

Image Credit: N3rdabl3

Hosted in New York City’s Parsons School of Design at the New School, XR For Change welcomed a host of mixed-reality professionals and enthusiasts thrilled to share new developments, provocative teachings, and original content. Sessions, which felt much like think tanks or thought incubators, were hosted by industry veterans such as Jessica Brillhart, Nancy Baker-Cahill, Walter Greenleaf, Marcie Jastrow, Anne Gaines, Kris Severson, Justin Hendrix, Cezara Windrem, and several other minds currently on the frontlines of innovation and experimentation in XR.

Image Credit: Games For Change

With a refreshing focus on the best practices, empathy, and ethics needed to set industry standards, talks by Brittan Heller, Tyler Gates, and Sophia Moshasha were welcomed as comments needing to be echoed. While the aesthetic design was celebrated through awards, one panel, in particular, sought to encourage those contributing to the modernization and adoption of immersive tech to consider intergenerational audiences during development in an attempt to facilitate the needs of older users.

Although short-lived, a packed, multi-floor immersive arcade boasting over 20+ pieces curated by journalist and professor, Jesse Damiani of VRScout and Susanna Pollack, president of Games For Change, offered attendees the chance to go hands-on with some of the most talked-about immersive experiences in the industry. XR For Change guests could get themselves lost in the world of Gloomy Eyes, discover the wonders of the human brain in NeuroExplorer VR, witness a miraculous transformation in Mercy, or build up their own reality in Project Create.

Feeling much like a reunion, this international conference brought visionaries, investors, and proponents for XR improvement and adoption under one roof for roughly 72 hours of non-stop immersive action. For more information anout Games For Change and the XR Summit, visit official site.

About the Scout

Darragh Dandurand

Darragh Dandurand is a multi-disciplinary creative whose award-winning works have reached international audiences by way of photography, writing, journalism and filmmaking. She is known for artistic and academic efforts in story development, creative direction and set design (most recent installations were part of the 'Where Thoughts Go: Prologue' debut festival tour, including a permanent exhibit in NYC’s VR World). Darragh is the former Chief Marketing and Operations Officer of Thought Co., producers of 'Where Thoughts Go: Prologue.' She has been advocating for women’s and LGBT+ rights for over a decade and currently sits on her fourth executive board at NYC Pride. She is also a member of Magic Leap’s #LeapSquad.

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