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Chinese Communist Party invests in virtual worlds

CCCP virtual worlds

By Tom Ffiske
VR/AR and metaverse analysis every Wednesday and Sunday // 30 March 2022 

Absolutely loving The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson so far. Allomancy is such a slick magic system.

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Black Public Media

CCP investments and Western-based surveys

The Chinese Communist Party commissioned a training college in a virtual world (not metaverse).

  • Created by Mengke VR, it will host courses like ‘A Hundred Years of Stories – Party History Micro Classroom,’ or ‘The Great New Era – Major Achievements of the Party and the Country Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.’ It will be used by their top cadet training school, the Chinese Academy of Governance, and is accessible via VR. 
  • News sites screamed that ‘Communist China built a training simulation in the metaverse.’ While it makes for a great headline, it is not accurate. It is more of an education tool where members of the Academy can immerse themselves in the material, while engaging with others in a party-based system. If it was connected to any metaverse, then it would function differently. Politics aside, the story demonstrates that senior government authorities in China are investing a fair bit into immersive technologies. 

Deloitte‘s Digital Media Trends survey talked a lot about the metaverse, using it as a catch-all term for its research on streaming and gaming habits. 

  • The report argued that people are spending more and more of their time online, and that social and gaming worlds are gaining prominence in our digital lives. ‘For now, streaming video, social media and gaming are very successful, but changing behaviors are pointing towards the next wave of digital entertainment,’ said Kevin Westcott, vice chair, Deloitte and U.S. technology. ‘To evolve with younger generations on the way to the metaverse, global media companies should focus on younger generations and those generations that follow, by offering more social, interactive and immersive forms of entertainment.’
  • The report was vague on the actual stats on the metaverse. While it had a large range of survey info on SVOD pick-up and online usage, the metaverse was only lightly touched on. It formed a core part of the content as opposed to the research data, as an extrapolation of the info. As such, read with care. 

Supported by Black Public Media

The BPMplus Initiative aims to increase the participation of Black filmmakers and artists working in XR, AI, 3D, and other forms of emerging-tech storytelling. 

BPMplus programs include: Immersive Day at PitchBlack 2022, the MIT & Black Public Media Visiting Artists Program, the Nonso Christian Ugbode Fellowship, XR mixers and classes, BPMplus Fellowships, and Pop-up XR Theaters.

Learn more about BPMplus here.

Black Public Media

New games, new acquisitions, new investments

Got any stories? Let me know at tom (at) immersivewire (dot) com.

  • Autodesk announced their intention to acquire The Wild.
  • ENGAGE XR annnounced that its new hires – Richard Allin and Kyle Horner – have joined the company. 
  • LiveSwitch announced it has partnered with Shocap Entertainment to help power the real-time and immersive streaming of LiViCi.
  • MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE, a VR reimagining of the roguelike first-person shooter , will be released on 16 June. 
  • nDreams has announced a $35m investment from the Aonic Group.
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will be conducting the largest rollout of virtual reality headsets of any NHS trust in the UK. 
  • Osso VR nets $66m in funding for surgical training. 
  • Peabody Awards awarded Nonny de la Peña the Field Builder Award for her contributions to advancements in VR and immersive journalism.
  • Round Room Live entered into a strategic relationship to map, develop, and architect platforms for the future of live experiences.
  • SyncThink announced the expansion of its clinical advisory board and the creation of a specific advisory panel of physical therapy providers.
  • Tentacular has launched on SteamVR and Meta Quest. 
  • Upload VR Showcase returns in June, and they are looking for content for the show. 
  • Virtualware has been granted a new patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office for its immersive positioning system.

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Meditative with the VIVE Flow. Photo credit: Tom Ffiske

Tom Ffiske

Editor, Immersive Wire

Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a twice-weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.