February 9, 2017

The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Geekzonia

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“But what is Geekzonia? I don’t understand!”

Ok, Ok just chill, here’s a step by step Guide to Geekzonia that anyone, including your gran could understand (let me know what she thinks).

Step 1 – Put on your VR headset

If this makes sense to you skip to Step 2, if you’re confused already – read on!

Putting on a VR headset = strapping a screen to your face. If you’ve never done this, the image you see is split for each eye, using fancy lenses and stereoscopic 3D rendering. This tricks your brain into feeling like you’re actually IN the environment you’re looking at, transporting you to a beach or alien planet.

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Virtual reality headsets track your movements using gyroscopes, infrared dots and lots of other sensors either inside the headset, or with external cameras. When you turn around, look up or down, the image moves proportionally to give you a sphere of view, delivering that fully immersive presence – I’ve looked over the edge of a virtual high rise building and experienced EXTREME vertigo, I’ve also tried to lean on a table that obviously wasn’t really there and fallen over IRL (In Real Life) so be careful!

giphy (2)In Virtual Reality you are represented by an Avatar, if you look down you will see your virtual body, and when you move your hands IRL, you will see your Avatar’s hands move the same way. This creates a strong connection from your brain to your virtual body, if you play scary games you can expect to feel genuine fear, despite knowing nothing from this virtual world can hurt you.

Those fancy sensors I mentioned before can even track your facial expressions and what you’re looking at, so you can convey emotion through your avatar and interact with In-World characters – I’ve had a fairly believable, albeit surreal, conversation with a pre-programmed seagull – it’s not artificial intelligence, but it’s pretty good at faking it.

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“Gary the Gull”

These features make it super easy to socialise with real people from all over the world in Virtual Reality. In a social VR platform like Geekzonia, you can see other people milling about that you can interact with. Just wave to a random Avatar, and strike up a conversation, you’ll be able to hear each other, read facial cues for basic emotions and interact much in the same way as IRL – except some of your inhibitions have been left behind. This person can’t see what you really look like, they’re not judging your bad hair day, body odour or potentially awkward body language. Don’t worry I’m sure you’re charming IRL

Step 2 – Download the Geekzonia App (technically this would be step 1, but it makes for a weak opening paragraph, so just go with it ok?)

Currently our platform is in private beta testing and can be accessed using an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, but we plan to roll out access to all VR headsets. You’ll also be able to use Geekzonia from your laptop/PC, it just won’t be immersive! Download the app (not available to the public yet) and fill out your Profile – you can pick your Display Name, and choose Interests that other users will see… 

Say you love The Walking Dead, and someone else logs in who also loves the Walking Dead, you’ll both be notified that a geek is nearby with similar interests to you and you can then decide if you want to go and talk to that person.

Step 3 – Create your Avatar

If you’ve ever played an RPG (Role Playing Game) then this will be old hat to you, so skip to Step 4.

You’ll see a screen then lets you choose female /male /leopard (whatever floats your boat). You can then customise your features as much as you like, choose your hair style, choose if you’re tall/slim, CHOOSE LIFE (sorry I just watched Trainspotting) or click “randomise” and you’ll get an automatically generated, unique avatar.

Step 4 – Enter the Geekzonia Hub

You’ll be transported to a breath taking scene that evokes feelings of being on an alien planet, from here you can choose where you want to go, with clear zones like Sci-Fi or Horror, you feel free to explore. Step through the transporters, open doors and you’ll find geeky wonders on the other side…

You won’t be alone though, you’ll see plenty of other people exploring too, or maybe they know exactly where they’re going, where could they be headed to with such purpose you wonder, as you mindlessly start to follow that large green man…

The Hulk look-alike joins a group beneath a flying flag that reads Doctor Who Fan Meet. You are greeted by friendly faces and waving arms as you are beckoned to join the conversation and introduce yourself. An hour later the group is saying it’s goodbyes and agreeing to meet up next week. You’ve had a rousing, but enjoyable debate with a lovely pink robot, about which Doctor is better, 10 or 11, and you definitely want to speak to her again, there was something about her accent…

 

 

You definitely want to check out the Horror section, so you go back through the transporter to find yourself in a cemetery that is reminiscent of Sunnydale (Buffy the Vampire Slayer). You’re drawn to a glowing crypt and you recognise the name above the entrance, it’s that creepy film you can’t wait to see. You step inside and suddenly you’re inside the movie, you cotton on that this is some sort of 360° trailer and you start to explore. The tense music has you on edge and you think If I turn round right now there will be a monster behind me… You turn around slowly, poised to run and you’re face to face with… *CENSORED FOR SPOILERS*

Cut to some incredibly brave heroics, I’m sure you didn’t jump out of your skin or let out a blood curdling scream – don’t worry no one can see you in your living room.

sourceSuitably invigorated, you realise it’s time for the BIG Quiz Show! You head on down to the arena, where fan groups from Star Trek and Star Wars are about to face off in a final epic showdown to determine Who Are The Ultimate Geeks! The crowd is hyped up, there is clearly some tension between the fandoms, (like old football club rivals) as people cheer and egg the teams on. Teams desperately shout out to Save The Superhero, Tackle this Theme Tune, or Reenact -That. You find yourself desperate for your team to win, crying with laughter – and now your headset is soggy…

Step 5 – Check the Geekzonia Events Calendar (this could be any step really, actually you should go and do that now)

You realise there aren’t enough hours in the day for your ‘real life’ and all the crazy things that are happening in Geekzonia that you can’t miss out on, deciding that becoming a VR Events Host is a wise career move.

There’s Free Comic Book Day (a Virtual Reality Comic Con) with some of your favourite writers and artists giving talks, with opportunities to meet them and discuss your own ideas.

There’s Geek Pride Day with all day activities like Debates about Time Travel and a variety of guest speakers lined up that you’re already fan-girling over.

There’s Fan Hangouts happening every day, and you realise the League of Legends one is a great place to find people to play online with as you’re still a total NEWB.

The season of eSports Tournaments is on the horizon, and you’ve never had the opportunity to go to a stadium and experience the atmosphere of the crowd, but Geekzonia is hosting Viewing Parties and you can’t wait!

There’s Conventions with some of your favourite actors, and you’re already trying to think of something witty to say when you meet them…

There’s After Parties for the best Geeky Movie Premieres, where you can dance to a live DJ and play musical statues.

These events are only the beginning of our journey through Time and Space, as Geekzonia will always be working to bring you bigger and better adventures. Encouraging socialising is at the heart of everything we do, so you’ll soon find a family of geeky companions to explore with!

Guide To Geekzonia

Would you like to put on an Event in Geekzonia? Become an Event Partner and learn more here

Or maybe you’re a Geeky Creator, would you like to showcase your VR/3D or 2D work in Geekzonia? Find out more and let us know here

 

Start your journey now > free beta download here

 

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