Event: Where Is Immersive Gaming Going Now?

Event: Where Is Immersive Gaming Going Now?
Photo by David Ruano

Immersive gaming experiences took a hit during the pandemic as venues shut down, but expect them to come roaring back as people seek greater connections and the industry grows.


That's what a bullish panel of leaders in the field said this week in an intimate gathering hosted by dot.LA at the immersive Two Bit Circus in downtown L.A. this week.

"We got sick and tired of doing the Zoom call," said Jane Chung Hoffacker, co-founder and CEO of Incredible Dream Studios, a studio focused on translating tabletop games for online gamers. "So much about being in person now is so valuable."

She said while locked down at home, people gained connections with their neighbors and it deepened their appreciation for moments. Now that pandemic's peak appears to be behind us, where is immersive gaming headed?

"Being in person right now is so valuable," she said. The sentiment translates to people playing board games or stepping into escape rooms as opposed to sitting in front of a screen alone playing video games, which exploded during the pandemic.

COVID paused business for some in Southern California's burgeoning immersive community, said panelist Tommy Honton, designer of the escape room Stash House and co-creator of The Museum of Selfies. But there was a silver lining.

"Designers and companies that never would have gotten any attention have gotten a chance to shine," he said. Immersive creators went online and shared a hybrid virtual version of their games, attracting investors who might not otherwise have been exposed to them.

And Southern California, where a deep talent pool of engineers and storytellers has fueled the industry, is especially well poised to flourish as the pandemic recedes.

"There's a deep well of great storytellers and... great creators here," said Brent Bushnell, panelist and co-founder of the experimental entertainment company Two Bit Circus. He's looking toward that well as he starts to create experiences for the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Watch the recap below:

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Why Government Incentives for Used EVs Make No Sense

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Why Government Incentives for Used EVs Make No Sense

micheile dot com
When the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed last fall, much was made about the revamped electric vehicle tax incentive structure for new car purchases. Specifically that buyers would be eligible for up to a $7,500 rebate. But legislators also added language to the law that would create incentives for used EV sales. Naturally, this facet of the policy was largely ignored. That said, the used car market is typically around double that of new sales, meaning the rules for used EVs outlined in the IRA will have major implications for the country’s transition to an electrified auto fleet…eventually.
Read moreShow less

A Ride Along With the Only Rideshare Company Treating Its Drivers As Employees

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

A Ride Along With the Only Rideshare Company Treating Its Drivers As Employees
Courtesy of Alto

Since dot.LA covered its launch two years ago, Santa Monica-based rideshare company Alto has hired 300 staff members to join its growing team of drivers. But unlike its competitors, Alto classifies every driver as a W-2 employee.

“They're not gig economy workers that show up whenever they feel,” general manager Sevag Konialian tells dot.LA, “they have hours that correlate with the schedule they signed up with.”

Applicants that are interested in joining the Alto family, as Konialian puts it, must fill out a form online with their desired schedule. Once the application is complete, an Alto member reaches out to the applicant for a remote interview. After the interview, the potential driver will receive a driver training course list that they must complete.

Read moreShow less

This Week In ‘Raises’: Product Science Lands $18M, Preveta Gains $6.2M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week In ‘Raises’: Product Science Lands $18M, Preveta Gains $6.2M

Los Angeles-based mobile performance management platform Product Science was co-founded by David, Daniil, Anna and Maria Liberman. The startup raised fresh funding to fuel its growth, obtain key hires and refine their proprietary AI algorithm.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending