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XRDC speaker Q&A: BioWare vet Jonathan Perry tunes VR for workplace training

As the VR industry continues to grow it's fascinating to learn more about how game industry veterans are turning to the VR business not to make games, but to make other kinds of practical technology.

At XRDC 2018, Ractive CEO and former BioWare cinematic director Jonathan Perry will be discussing how to properly simulate stress for users in VR programs. To learn more about his fascinating transition from narrative games to narrative training simulations, we reached out to Perry for a quick Q&A that you can now read below!

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about AR/VR/MR for games, entertainment, healthcare, enterprise training, education, automotive, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.
I'm the CEO of Ractive, where I'm developing a variety of VR and AR experiences for training and entertainment.  Prior to starting Ractive, I was a Cinematic Director at BioWare, where I was responsible for developing tools and content for interactive conversations and cinematics.  With Ractive I'm applying similar techniques for interactive conversations and dynamic scenarios to virtual reality training across a range of industries and occupations. I'm currently developing training experiences for first responders that allow them to practice skills in simulated high-stress scenarios.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.
I'll be talking about the benefits of incorporating stressful situations into VR training and exploring strategies for adding simulated stress to a variety of training applications.  The goal is to help participants become familiar with how their body and mind react to stress in a simulated experience to help improve performance and decision-making when encountering similar situations in the real world.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?
I've always been excited about the transportive nature of VR and its ability to make you feel like you're truly in another world.  I'm also really excited about the potential to help save lives through better VR training.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?
I'd love to meet anyone who is interested in using or developing VR training experiences and anyone else working with interactive characters and dynamic conversations. I'd also like to meet anyone working on VR hardware and peripherals that could enable more immersive training experiences.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about how people respond to tough scenarios while immersed in virtual reality?
It's amazing how much of the "classroom learning" people forget when they suddenly have to recall and apply those skills under stress in a realistic scenario.  There's a saying I like that goes "Train how you fight, fight how you train" which speaks to the need to create training environments and experiences that are as close as possible to the ones in which someone is expected to perform an important or complex task.

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