Level Up Conference in KL 2018: Report

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Last week I had the chance to attend the famous Level Up conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The atmosphere at Level Up was truly electrifying. Seeing all these youngsters showing their artistic creations was absolutely marvellous.

The conference talks were held by a plethora of speakers from a wide range of backgrounds within the gaming, digital art, software and hardware industries.

I found particularly interesting the presentation given by HTC regarding VR and their future intentions for the new technology. The speech was quite technical but luckily I had gone to a VR lab the week prior to Level Up to try it out as I wrote in my previous article. My first experience was quite…..hilarious. If you’re interested in seeing a ridiculous girl pretending to ski in VR and falling by herself, click here to watch the video.

A disappointment, however, arises from the lack of debate regarding the ‘side effects’ of VR.

We do not know how the human psychology will react once VR is easily accessible to everyone or even a future commonly found at home tech, like they all seemed to predict at Level Up. Controversial studies have been carried out and subsequent correlations have already been found between violent videogames and real life aggression. And this was with 2D on screen games, so what’s it going to be with VR games? And we also have lots of cases of gaming addiction, particularly in Asia where bootcamps are held for rehab from technology. So what’s going to happen with VR in the mix too?

I loved some of the games that were exhibited and was mesmerised by the new Prestige range of MSI laptops. In fact, I am very tempted to buy the P42: such a powerful laptop and yet so thin and light. A masterpiece truly. If you’re interested, you can have a look at its features here. After all, both 11.11 and Black Friday/CyberMonday are getting close so we won’t feel to guilty to buy a new toy if it’s discounted!

So all in all, the success of Level Up is totally justified. It was well organised, the location very neat and pleasant, the crowd quite varied and the speakers capable.

But to me, the best of Level Up was seeing so many young minds attending, each showing a great passion and a strong will to succeed in an increasingly competitive environment like gaming, apps and digital art.

In a way a contradictory but also reassuring observation I made was that several of these digital talents were still sketching on paper all the time, even during talks. It is nice to see that art evolves but the starting point remains traditional: the hand sketch.

VR, my first time: amazing but disturbing

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I live in Kuala Lumpur and at this time of the year the monsoon hits us hard especially during the afternoons and evenings. The rain floods streets and the humid heat renders the air stale and tiring.

So what to do on a Saturday night in this weather? Go to spend an hour at the VR lab.

Last Saturday was my first time (VR-wise) and my boyfriend suggested a ski game to, as he put it, ‘experience fully the power of VR‘. Sure. Why not.

As I was ‘experiencing fully’ the thing, he decided to film me in one of the most ridiculous moments of my young life. You can see it too here.

In conclusion, I found VR to be an extrordinary thing. It’s incredible how effectively real everything feels. I say feels and not looks, as it’s not the graphics that make you believe you’re in other dimension. It’s the whole interaction between the visual illusion and your brain that drives you nuts.

I did feel nausea when jumping on my skis, scared when some snakes tried to eat me, tired after a pub fight and I had a strong headache afterward. But it was totally worth a try and I will likely go again some time.

Yet, I cannot prevent myself from thinking about the potential consequences of VR on human psychology. Using it an hour at an arcade is no biggie but VR will likely become more and more affordable and am sure a good portion of the population will end up having it at home, always accessible.
Controversial studies and correlations have already been made regarding violent screen-videogames and real life aggression. And we also have lots of cases of gaming addiction, particularly in Asia where bootcamps are also held for rehab from technology. So what’s going to happen with VR in the mix too? How many individuals will prefer the virtual reality they build themselfves to their actual lives?

How many people who may already be prone to addicition, violence or psychological trouble will lose their minds with VR?

This is not a criticism. I leave these questions open as I am clueless of what’s going to happen. Yet, I do find that these questions are not asked enough.

Next week I’ll go to the Level Up Conference in KL and hope to find some answers.

Nikon releases two full frame mirrorless cameras

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Last Minute News

Nikon is releasing two full-frame mirrorless cameras on August 23rd!

The cameras apparently will get rather sci-fi android names: the Z6 and Z7 (so original guys!)
They are said to be introduced alongside three lenses and the Z7 will shoot at 45 megapixels!

I’ll update as soon as I get more info.