As it is very sunny outside and I have my laptop with me, I thought to splash out on a fun article for today – the kinds of people you meet at VR / AR / MR meetups and conventions. There are no links to any individual people throughout this article, and no offence is meant to any particular person. That said, you may be able to guess the inspirations.

The Proud Veteran

He was there, right from the beginning. Tall and very, very proud, they will say in most conversations that they were one of the first people to be working in the industry – even if, when you question them further, it turns out they came in about a year after they would say. Maybe two years. But they were thinking about it for that time, so I guess that counts.

And even if they were there from the ‘beginning’ (whenever that may be – ‘the beginning’ changes meaning depending on who you ask, and rather helpfully serves their purposes most of the time), its become part of their character. It’s a symbol to be proud of – but sometimes, it’s what you do now which is much more important than what you did a while ago.

The Peppy Newcomer

These people come in all different backgrounds, and they all have a slightly warped idea of the industry. Sometimes they dive in asking ‘Oooooo where are all the video games?’ Other times its mild curiosity. In any case these people quickly find out what the community is like, and most of the time become very interested in the tech.

Though these people exist, they quickly either disappear or become a part of the tribe and devote their entire lives to it, with absolutely no in between.

The Reluctant Networker

You are vaguely aware that someone is there, lurking in the shadows with a bottle of  liquid courage in their hands, but also not quite aware of them as well. They are just there. Waiting for the opportune time to pick it up and step in and introduce themselves. The thing is, the best time never comes.

These kinds of people can be compared to how the TARDIS is largely ignored by the British populace.

‘That’ Regular Speaker

You know that person. The one who is in almost every single talk, saying exactly the same things, over and over again. Like the warm familiarity of arriving at your family’s home every once in a while, the same goes for the speaker who will speak in every talk you will ever sign up for. The person may even wear the same shirt, though with a different press badge.

99% of the time there is absolutely nothing wrong with their talks, and sometimes their repeats may  be a useful opportunity to zone out and check your Twitter. Plus, the talks are usually very, very good for newcomers to listen to. Usually.

The Genuinely Nice Speaker

Probably the best one, but will do it once and promptly disappear from the face of the earth.

The One on a Thousand Projects

You’re not quite sure what they are doing. One moment they are doing a VR news website. The next, doing a campaign on diversity in the industry. The next, writing a book on working in VR. The next, making an immersive experience on flying in space, while simultaneously asking for funding.

Either they have the world’s best work-balance skills in the world, or they cannot decide what they want to do. In any case, following their exploits on Twitter is always entertaining.

The World Changer

You don’t know who it is. It can literally be absolutely anyone you meet in any conference, place, or meetup. It can be a small idea which grows into a monster, or a large idea which breaks into the world. It can come from someone of any gender, age, orientation, or colour with any sort of political views, sensibilities or background.

And since it can be anyone, you keep track of everyone. Because you never know. You never know.

Tom Ffiske
@thomasffiske

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