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Article in Le Temps on Exploring Gender through Virtual Reality

Queer Code Collective was interviewed for an article published in Le Temps, a Swiss news site, on Exploring Gender through Virtual Reality. Written by journalist Pauline Verduziez, the article looks at how various artists and researchers are using virtual reality to fight against discrimination, expand learning possibilities, and explore questions of gender and sexuality.

The collective enjoyed speaking with Pauline about our VR development work, including our recently developed application, Mementorium, and earlier app, Queer and Trans Narratives in VR. Dylan also shared their research on gender and sexuality, VR, and learning.

Here is an excerpt from the article referencing our conversations (in the original French with an English translation following):

Le collectif canadien Queer Code, lui, a mis au point une expérience en réalité virtuelle qui consiste à évoluer dans un monde fictif en entendant des témoignages de personnes queers victimes de discriminations. «L’intention est d’élargir les perspectives sur la marginalisation en fonction du genre ou de la sexualité. Il s’agit de créer un sentiment de compréhension autour de cette lutte», explique Dylan Paré, chercheur-se à la tête du collectif.

The Canadian collective Queer Code has developed a virtual reality experience that consists of moving in a fictional world while hearing testimonies from queer people who are victims of discrimination. “The intention is to broaden perspectives on marginalization based on gender or sexuality. It’s about creating a feeling of understanding around this struggle, ”explains Dylan Paré, researcher at the head of the collective.

Pauline Verduzier, “Explorer le genre grâce à la réalité virtuelle,” Le Temps, January 6, 2021. https://www.letemps.ch/societe/explorer-genre-grace-realite-virtuelle

Oculus Launch Pad Scholarship 2019!!

Mementorium, our interactive narrative virtual reality experience, was awarded an Oculus Launch Pad 2019 Scholarship! 🎉🎉 We’re thrilled to have Oculus’ support to develop our app over the next few months. 

Oculus Launch Pad was an incredible experience. We met so many talented developers with unique project ideas. We learned a lot from the Launch Pad boot camp, the Oculus Educational Summit, and the Oculus Connect 6 conference. We especially appreciate the friends we made and our connection to the growing Oculus Launch Pad Alumni community.

Hiking in San Francisco area at the end of February 2020 for OLP Demo Day when we shared our vertical slice with our OLP cohort.

Dylan is working hard on the narrative, and finding it challenging and fun. They’re drawing deeply from their background in the Learning Sciences, and Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies, and returning to their most beloved authors who gave them strength & voice. They’re also finding that game writing dovetails nicely with their current academic writing on queering computing, and finding it very rewarding to have both the research writing and storytelling writing spaces to explore. The work in each is enriched by the other.

Scout is re-imagining our level design and experimenting with the procedural foliage tools in UE4. She’s finding virtual gardening is pretty awesome! 😀 We’re aiming for an atmosphere of magical realism, so she’s also dialing in the lighting to bring the right level of enchantment to the scenes. She’s really enjoying bringing the world of Mementorium to life and can’t wait to share more in the coming months! 

John is enjoying finding ways to support people to connect with the virtual environment. He looks forward to designing new interactions in virtual reality that help people connect gestures and object interactions to exploring memories. Collaborating with a team is like an exciting puzzle for John, of problem-solving the challenges we face to reach the goal of creating something together. 

We’ve got a lot of difficult work ahead of us, but none of us shy away from a fun design challenge. Especially when we get to work with friends!