Blog by: Kai Hubner
Kai is one of the founders of the growing VR meetup in Stockholm, Sweden.
The Stockholm Virtual Reality (SVR) Meetup was created in July 2014, after two VR enthusiasts lacked a platform to exchange ideas and discussions centered on Virtual Reality topics in Sweden. And for Stockholm – nowadays called one of the most innovative regions outside of Silicon Valley – it seemed just a big flaw to not have a platform that gathers local VR enthusiasts, spreads the word about VR, and sets out to follow in the footsteps of awesome meetups like the Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Meetup (SVVR).
From being born out of a VR-special at a local Unity meetup, and starting with a first meeting at a local pizza place, the Stockholm VR meetup has continuously attracted more and more VR enthusiasts since its beginning. The fully-booked gatherings are held every two months and usually composed of a couple of voluntary presentations and demos, in a “from-members-for-members” fashion. After recently crossing the 500 members mark, Stockholm VR meetup has become one of the biggest VRrelated meetups in Europe. Meetup events free to attend for everyone (who’s fast enough to register), we use English as the main meetup language, and efforts are made to broadcast the events (either live or as a recording, promoting VR technology) for those who cannot attend in person.
We are very proud to say that “VR for Everyone” has become partially true by these efforts, seeing not only hardcore gaming nerds (as initially expected), but a very broad mix of enthusiasts, students, and professionals, from research, architecture, design, media, retail, and entrepreneurship, mingle together and drive the local efforts in bringing VR to everyone. In the end, it is our belief that the innovative companies that grow on the efforts of the Swedish meetup scene, will make a more global difference in this respect. But for “VR for Everyone” to become true, more people than the tech-savvy enthusiasts need to be involved. The VR meetup team has been invited to schools and universities to demo VR experiences and evangelize that VR can be a game-changer for everyone in our society. At first sight, though, a lot of people still see VR merely as the next stage of mobile gaming. Four meetup organizers are too few to make more people understand that VR has the potential to become much more than a new gaming platform, and drive an innovative region such as Stockholm not to miss that trend. By engaging hundreds of meetup members to dare discuss, learn, and contribute to the world of Virtual Reality, we are on a good way to create the necessary awareness that VR will become “like a holodeck, just better” (to cite Daniel Kihlgren Kallander, one of the meetup’s organizers) … and that everyone can step inside.
All successful meetups need great sponsors. The Stockholm VR Meetup would like to thank MadCrew for being the main sponsor. Without MadCrew’s support, the meetup would not be as successful in building up a Stockholm-based community around VR, and in bringing VR to everyone.
Click here to learn more about the Stockholm VR Meetup.
Click here to view Meetup #7 in 360 degrees
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