Immersive Arcade launches in September – looks to improve diversity in the sector – see it at our IRL event!

The Immersive Arcade showcase launches this September, bringing a curated set of teh best from the UK’s VR industry to both an online experience and a tour set to kick off in Guildford on September 7th.

The free tour will also be making a stop at our own IRL event near Waterloo station on September 16th (tickets are required for our event). The showcase contains a wide range of experiences in documentary, experiential and narrative genres.

Highlights include a VR trip inside Amedeo Clemente Modigliani’s final studio, produced for the Tate during its exhibition of the artist. The experiential Fly, where users experienced what it was like to take to the skies and made waves at the Saatchi Gallery in 2019, is also in the showcase.

Home: a VR Spacewalk, the BBC backed experience created by Rewind, inspired by the NASA training programs used by British astronaut Tim Peake, that gives would-be astronauts the opportunity to spacewalk is another highlight.

The showcase will also include Somnai, the 2018 VR exploration of the subconscious mind that took people through their dreams and what they really meant; and Common Ground, a VR documentary about the Aylesbury Estate that takes viewers into the personal spaces and environments of its residents to experience what life was like in the notorious South London housing area.

The showcase is supported by UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) and produced by Digital Catapult.

A stuffy that’s part of the UKRI’s Audience of the Future programme – a £40 million investment drive into immersive technology – estimated there were some 1,000 immersive-specialist companies in the UK at present, employing around 4,500 people and generating £660 million in sales. Equivalent to as much as nine per cent of the global market share. 

The field has huge scope for potential growth, especially among women. According to the 2014 study published by the Internet advertising Bureau,  women comprise some 52 per cent of UK gamers, yet only account for roughly 14% of the UK professional immersive sector’s leadership.

Andrew Chitty, Director of the Audience of the Future Challenge said, “From innovative location-based experiences to world-class training simulators harnessing the latest XR technologies, the UK has consistently pioneered immersive content productions for the last two decades. UKRI is proud to launch Immersive Arcade, a project which will provide public access to and engagement with some of the most dynamic and influential interactive works from UK creators since 2000.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult said, “Digital Catapult is a long-standing advocate of the power of immersive technologies to create a fundamental shift in how we work and play, and we are very proud to have been so closely involved in the extraordinary growth of many immersive companies over the years. The Immersive Timeline and Immersive Showcase both aim to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the UK’s ground-breaking innovations in the area, profiling the far-sighted experiences that made an impact over the last two decades.’’

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