Reality Quest

By Kelly Campelia & Jay Silvas

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Two curious humans embark on a journey to explore the wild west that is Immersive Technology (otherwise known as the XR industry). Through virtual, augmented, mixed reality and more, these technologies are transforming the human experience. Where did it all begin? How far have we come, and how will we tackle the many challenges ahead? We are on a mission to better understand the technology, research, theories, and humans behind this fascinating and world-changing industry. We'll talk with people from many walks of life who are helping shape our collective future and explore this emerging reality together. Through deep conversations with these pioneers, we hope to inspire innovation and spread awareness and education so that we may build a more enlightened and equitable future. If you wanna reach out, you can connect with us via Soundcloud( or directly through our website at

Episode Date
RealityQuest Ep14 | Evocative Design with Miko Charbonneau & Mike Hines Part 2
Welcome to part two of our conversation with Miko & Mike! If you got here by accident and want to catch up, go back to episode 13 and catch us from the beginning. Otherwise, enjoy the episode! Show Notes (Full List at Miko Charbonneau: Follow Miko's latest lives treams and amazing work at: Twitch @DrMikachu Follow Mike on Facebook or find his latest stunning creations at:
Mar 16, 2020
RealityQuest Ep13 | Evocative Design with Miko Charbonneau & Mike Hines Part 1
Welcome back to another week with us, fellow mind-spelunkers! In many ways, this week is anything but the usual run of the mill. For one, this pair of episodes comes at a time when much of the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The reality of the situation only just began to sink in for many this past week in the United States. In light of the circumstances, we decided to break from our usual rhythms and record our intro and outros from a local cafe in Seattle. You'll hear a bit of the background din and conversation at the beginning and end of each episode. It's a small detail we hope will show that some normalcy had still been clinging on here in Seattle as people came out to grab a morning coffee and conversation with friends. As for the main event, we're excited to share with you our first group conversation episode. We brought in two lovely guests this time around to riff and waffle on the topics of storytelling and associated design challenges in the domain of immersive tech. Miko Charbonneau and Mike Hines join us to explore the space of possibilities, each bringing a wealth of knowledge gained through creating numerous games and interactive experiences both in XR and more traditional video games. They each brought their own unique energy to the conversation, and we are extremely happy with the results. We clearly had too much fun talking as a group, so you get the special treat of two episodes releasing this week. We just didn't want to keep you waiting this time for part two. You're welcome. :D DISCLAIMER: The situation since recording has evolved further as of this March 16th, and the now prescribed method to combat the COVID-19 outbreak here is to temporarily avoid all social gathering spaces and non-essential facilities (ie. Grocery stores, pharmacies). There are many ways to continue supporting local businesses without visiting directly, and we want to encourage any present listeners to heed the latest official guidance on curbing the spread of COVID-19. Show Notes (Full List at Follow Miko's latest livestreams and amazing work at: Twitch @DrMikachu Follow Mike on Facebook or find his latest stunning creations at:
Mar 16, 2020
Ep12 | Thoughts On Thoughts - What is the Value of XR?
Welcome back, spelunkers! This week is a real milestone for us, as we've now certainly passed the first year mark from the inception of Reality Quest as a shared collaboration. We both feel this episode is our most genuinely unadulterated Jay & Kelly conversation space yet. From the beginning of this endeavor, we strove to reach a comfortable recording headspace which could bring the listener as close to the dinner table as is possible, and this might be the closest to the real deal. With a few tangents as is natural, the premise of this conversation began with a question: What is the value of XR? We immediately had to dive deeper to find the roots of that inquiry. Why should it become widespread? What benefit does it have over other mediums for experience, and where does it differ? How should we be communicating that value to people outside of this nascent industry? We ended up starting from a clean slate, laying out some common language, and set upon the task of breaking it down piece by piece. We began forming a mental model of XR & content, then attempted to define some of the basic components of Storytelling & Gameplay. Ultimately, our stack of questions grew far higher than we started with, but with the modest reward of new lenses through which to examine XR and stories in general. The riddle is by no means solved in the end, but we'll continue this examination in future #ToTs episodes and with more guests to come. So sit back and enjoy a glass with us. Thanks for listening! Show Notes: - What is the "Doobly-Doo"? ( - Bespoke Post ( - "Almost and Influencer" article ( - "Meeting You" South Korean Documentary bringing the dead to life in VR ( - "All Models are wrong, but some are useful" ( - Psychological Human Needs (related to why people like games) ( - Song: "Pixels" by Mimicking Birds ( - Half + Half VR game ( - Language and Cave Art History - - - - - Dragons Love Tacos ( - "The Art of Game Design" by Jesse Schell ( - How Games Move Us: - - - Medium Article: "There is a second valley past the Uncanny Valley or How developing an AR horror game put me in the hospital" ( - "Understanding Comics" (
Mar 02, 2020
Reality Quest Ep11 | The Human in the Headset with Jude Dai
Welcome back for another guest episode! This week we share our conversation with Jude Dai; an XR entrepreneur and creator in search of the deepest experiences of life. She spends much of her free time wandering distant mountains, and her working hours toward her company, Immersive Square. We explored some interesting topics together; from the necessity of learning agility in nascent domains to spectrums of experience and the blue ocean strategy in product development. Demonstrated through her business, she has made it a personal mission to overcome some of the accessibility challenges associated with XR and bring immersive experiences to where people live. As usual, we had a lot of fun during this recording, in particular, because Jude is such a sage of wisdom both in life and business. She brings a spark of energy for exploration, so we hope you enjoy listening! If you want to find out more about Immersive Square or how you can help, check out Show Notes: Clouds over Sidra (Syrian refugee camp life 360 video): Take Flight (360/VR fly around the NYC sky with celebrities): Immersive Square: Blue Ocean Strategy: The Void (example of “location-based” VR): ILMx (Lucasfilm immersive entertainment studio): Lantern Ensemble: Eminem at the Oscars:
Feb 17, 2020
Reality Quest Ep10 | Thoughts On Thoughts
This episode is a real treat, as it's the first time we sit down to record solo and meander as we see fit. If you enjoy a flowing conversation and tangents upon tangents, similar to our guest episodes, #ThoughtsOnThoughts episodes will be fun explorations with just us guiding you along the way. We start with a bit of reflection back on the past six months since recording episode 9 with Gwyn. The conversation centered heavily on Rec Room and similar social platforms, so we focused on what we had experienced since in the Metaverse. Topics galore insue, from Rec Room to the Magic School Bus, planetary emotions to spice girl tea parties, and everything in between. We finish out our day with a bit of projecting on the topics we'd like to explore more this year in the industry. If you'd like to influence where we end up next and who drops into our scrappy little studio for XR spelunkings in the future, go drop us a line and share your ideas or thoughts. We're charting our course for the episodes to come, so get involved and you could help shape the conversations to come. *Show Notes:* Minor planets: Magic School Bus Episode: Oculus Quest VR Headset: Oculus "First Steps" (shooting rockets, dancing with robot, etc.): - the app -; - Youtube recordings of the experience: Within: "Conscious Existence": Spyce Gurrl Teaparty: Coming Soon Motion Sickness: - - "Minecraft": "What Games Are Like For Someone Who Doesn't Play Games": - - "Limbo": "Daytripper" graphic novel about an obituary copywriter: "The Best We Could Do" graphic novel about Vietnam refugees: "Invisible Ink" book on writing (is it a warning or an encouragement?): Youtube about habit themes: Dance Central VR: Rec Room VR: Notion Brain-Computer Interface Device: Healium:
Feb 10, 2020
Reality Quest Ep9 | Forging Worlds with Gwyn Leece
This week, we pick up some of our threads from previous episodes on social VR, augmented reality, and the Metaverse. Gwyn Leece is our guide through the composition of virtual worlds seen through a Hololens and experienced from within a VR headset in Rec Room. Some of our previous episodes have covered more on the social interplay and experience of social platforms like AltSpace and RecRoom, but this time we dig a bit more into the composition and engineering of these platforms. Together we meander into everything from early childhood and video game culture to building worlds and cultivating virtual economies. Gwyn's broad experience in the design and development of interactive experiences across multiple types of immersive platforms brings a wealth of perspective and knowledge to the roundtable. It was so much fun sharing an evening conversation with Gwyn, and hopefully won't be her last appearance on the show. We hope you'll enjoy this episode as much as we did. If you want to hear more from Gwyn, you can follow her on Twitter @gwymff ( Show Notes - Nintendo Wii: One of the first widely successful motion-tracking game consoles( - Kinect: XBOX Motion tracker( - Dance Central( - Beat Saber( - The acting troupe from RecRoom( - HoloTour( - Berlin Blitz Experience( - "Strange Beasts"(
Feb 03, 2020
Reality Quest Ep8 | Welcome to the Metaverse with Michael Gourlay Part 2
The quest continues! We pick up where we left off last episode, part one of our journey with Michael Gourlay through augmented reality(AR). Our conversation this time wanders into a myriad of topics, from hyper-reality to Doghouse Leathers, umbrella beatings to consumer AR and sharing of virtual experiences. We explore the broad range of challenges around building a new medium that is available for more people to benefit and thrive in. In the second half of the episode, we take some time to backtrack again and reflect on some of the topics from our time with Mike. We revisit some fundamental concepts like hyperreality, Solipsism, and try to end with some ultimately positive outlooks on the future of mainstream XR. Let us know if you enjoy the latter half of these episodes, as this is our first "solo" experimentation where we riff on topics we're deeply intrigued or curious about. We enjoyed the format and plan to do more with it in episodes moving forward, so your feedback and ideas are appreciated. We'd love to hear YOUR thoughts on thoughts. ;D PART II - Interview The History of Umbrellas: HYPER-REALITY video by Keiichi Matsuda: Doghouse Leathers: Oculus Quest headset: FRIENDS episode about altruism: The Void (Location-Based VR): Annual Oculus Connect Conference: Stack Overflow data website: PART II - Thoughts on thoughts Jean Baudrillard: Rene Descartes: Altspace: Rec Room: Mozilla Hubs: The Under Presents: Sleep No More: Malcolm Gladwell Podcast: Lady Gaga interview with Oprah: Black Mirror Episode: Mike's Fluids: see: "Red Giant adopted my fluid model into their Trapcode Suite 15, Particular 4 and Form 4 products for Adobe After Effects."
Jan 20, 2020
Reality Quest Ep7 | Welcome to the Metaverse with Michael Gourlay Part 1
Happy New Year, daring explorers! The year is 2020, the onset of a brave new decade. The next ten years will undoubtedly create new waves in the way we interact with the world around us. In light of these exciting times, we felt it a fitting moment to try changing up our formula a bit. This time around, Michael Gourlay enters the fold and shares his musings on life, AR and the Metaverse (from a giant beanbag, in a bathrobe, and with a cocktail in hand). An early leader of the HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality teams at Microsoft, once a general manager of the Altspace VR team, now actively developing future platforms for augmented reality, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to this episode. We go spelunking into so many things, from screaming frogs to the Cold War, to tongue gloves and the ultimate composition and texture of the 'Metaverse'. Together we explore the world through the lens of augmented reality, uncovering an aspirational vision of a future freed from the information confines of our screens. He was a wonderful guest to have on our show and helped inspire a continuous stream of lively conversation. By the end, the hour was late, and we had far more questions and thoughts than when we started. We raced through so many different topics and domains that we decided to split our recording with Mike into two episodes, so part two will pick up where we left off in our next bi-weekly release. After stepping back from part one of our convo with Mike today, we've revisited the highlights in hopes of adding some helpful context and commentary for you on the juicy bits. We hope you enjoy this special retrospective episode and look forward to your feedback and thoughts, so please reach out with your ideas! If you want to hear more from Mike, you can find him on Twitter @MiJaGourlay.
Jan 06, 2020
Reality Quest Ep6 | Building Pathways Together with Tim Cullings
Welcome back! Our guest this week is an accomplished Systems Engineer working in XR by day, and an avid community builder among the game development scene in Seattle. Tim Cullings is an active member of the Seattle Indies group and International Game Developers Association. He's also a passionate Karaoke aficionado. On his journey, he's experienced multiple companies grow from small teams into thousands strong, and has gained a wealth of wisdom from scaling up both systems and culture in those challenging environments. One of the things he's most passionate about is cultivating new members in the developer community, so we've shared some of the groups he helps run locally in Seattle. If you have ideas you'd like to make a reality, are curious about getting started with game development, or just looking for a supportive and active community to get involved in, check them out. If you don't live in Seattle, your best bet is to find a local chapter of the IGDA and go to a meetup. ### Tim Cullings on Social Media [Twitter]( [Facebook]( ### Support or Join [International Game Developers Association - IGDA]( [Seattle Indies](
Dec 09, 2019
Reality Quest Ep5 | Evolving Theatrical Dimensions with Kiira Benzing
We begin our week with Kiira Benzing, an award-winning avant-garde pioneer in virtual reality theater, immersive artistic expression, and mixed medium experiences. Coming from a background in traditional theater and filmmaking, Kiira was inspired to express in more than two dimensions when she was creating a traditional documentary and envisioned a better way to connect the audience to the story. Discovering XR could help her achieve her vision, in 2015 she dove into the industry head first and never looked back. In this episode, we get to hear all about Kiira's story, her wonderful and wildly successful experiments in VR, and some of her thoughts on how we can all work together to help the industry improve and expand its reach. She shares some important insights from her research in the use of avatars for acting as well as from her recently acclaimed projects ‘Loveseat’ and ‘Runnin’. Kiira is an amazing human, a generous soul, and an extremely talented multidimensional director whom you should be keeping track of. We can't wait to see what she does next! Ways to reach out: - (her studio/ production company) - Insta: @doubleeye - Twitter: @DoubleEyePro Articles where you can learn more: - Alive in Plasticland - Birds Bees and Multiple Realities
Nov 25, 2019
Reality Quest Ep4 | Pervasive Play with Evie Powell
In this episode, we jump right into the "blender of life" with Evie Powell on building pervasive experiences that cross the traditional boundaries of screens and play in games. We dig into what it means to craft experiences that are more naturally intuitive. The conversation also focuses on measures we can take to help build a healthier future enhanced by technology that helps instead of hinders us. If you want to learn more about Evie and more of her amazing work, go check out her Twitter @parasiteEvie or her website
Nov 12, 2019
Reality Quest Ep3 | Life and Learning with Mat Chacon
This week, we kick back with Mat Chacon, the CEO & co-founder of the team behind Rumi, Doghead Simulations( During the conversation, we explore how VR is transforming and enabling new ways to learn together and from afar, as well as his visions of a life innately integrated with enhanced reality tech. We also veer off into lots of fun tangents on life and culture, so if you just wanna hear more of the XR-specifics, skim over the first half of the episode. Otherwise, site back and enjoy the ride! If you want to hear more from Mat on life and VR, you can find him as @TheVRCEO on Twitter.
Oct 28, 2019
Reality Quest Ep2 | The Overview Effect with Tom Furness
This time we're joined by Tom Furness, the "grandfather" of VR. We begin our journey in the early days of space exploration amid a growing international arms race and the path which led him to create the first virtual interface for pilots. During our conversation, we explore how his experiences guided him in his lifelong mission to build a healthy foundation for the growth of XR into the future. You can find out more about Tom's latest endeavors or support his non-profit Virtual World Society( by signing up as an annual member or getting involved directly to help out.
Oct 14, 2019
Reality Quest Ep1 | Creating Connection Through Virtual Reality with Katie Kelly
Our Journey begins! We take the red pill and wade deep into the waters of social experiences in virtual reality with help from our guest Katie Kelly, the Program Owner for AltspaceVR( at Microsoft.
Sep 30, 2019