Kayfabe VR: Using Play! And Akka to model geolocation in virtual reality: A Practical Guide

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One of the challenges in working in virtual reality is to give the sense of space to an environment. What better way to do that than to have real-world geography presented in 1:1 scale? Kayfabe VR is a platform that uses geolocation to bring people from the outside world into the virtual world.

The term “kayfabe” is a professional wrestling term that refers to the convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic. “Kayfabe VR” is a platform that uses WebSockets with Play! and Akka to communicate between a large distributed network of mobile devices and central virtual reality environment. It also emulates “fake” mobile devices to populate this environment with robots for testing and gaming purposes. Bot and player tracking is achieved by using Akka actors to manage regions and keep them distributed evenly in real time, as players move through the world.

Topics to be covered:
Big data handling using Scala, communication protocols between VR game engines and mobile devices, Web Sockets vs UDP for data transfer from Play! to the VR environment, optimization and best practices for online VR systems, and optimizing data management in mobile devices.


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Technical rider

  • Duration: 30 min.
  • Type: Lecture
Video projector, whiteboard


Registered by
24 February 2016

  • France Nice
  • United States San Francisco, Venice


Eric Medine is a San Francisco area artist working in multimedia and video art. He received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996 and his Masters degree at the the Otis School of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California in 2006. While in Chicago he ran Drivethru Studios, a not-for-profit art gallery a dedicated to emerging artists working in painting, video, and sculpture.

He has shown work in galleries and museums such as the Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, the SuperSonic Exhibition at the Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, Walled Cities Gallery in San Pedro, Andrew Shire Gallery in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, xm:lab in Germany, the LPM festival in Rome and Mexico City, the KuunsterHaus in Saarbrucken, and the KunstVlaai Exhibition in Amsterdam. He has given numerous lectures, workshops, and presentations on topics such as curating electronic art, hacking video game hardware, and software programming for live video exhibitions.

From 2006 to 2012 he ran La-Va.org (Los Angeles Video Artists), a loosely organized community of video artists working primarily in the field of live video mixing and improvised visuals, with the goal of promoting and nurturing the movement of video mixing and improvisational video art in the greater Los Angeles area.

He has done live visuals for events and venues as varied as Nocturnal Wonderland, Abstract Festival, San Diego Sports Arena, Levi’s Film and Video Workshop, FunRazr at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Sonatheque, Chicago Motion Graphics Festival, Faites de la Lumieres, and Soul Station.

Most recently he gave a lecture at the LPM festival in Rome, Italy, on the subject of YouTube hacking for live video mixing, at FAB LAB in San Diego on the subject of programming Processing applications for Android mobile devices, and at MOCA in Los Angeles on hacking video game controllers for video installation applications. He is also the founder and CEO of and director of TenTon Raygun, a multimedia design company specializing in flash video loops for video mixing software such as Resolume.

In 2014 he started VisualTouchTherapy, a video game platform dedicated to the gamification of physical therapy for stroke survivors. You can learn more about that here: www.visualtouchtherapy.com

He is also a fearless zombie killer.

You may reach him at info@ericmedine.com


Dara is a San Francisco and London based artist currently working in the virtual reality and 3D scanning/art space. He is the founder and CEO of Jahan, a platform dedicated to showcasing and 3D scanning the worlds art, museums and cultural sites. Prior to settling in San Francisco he founded and ran a nonprofit based in India and Nepal which aimed to provide free Internet access across both countries

He is reachable at dara.bonakdar@gmail.com


Eric and Dara about both founders of the Metaverse Scholars Club, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco which discusses the uncomfortable, asks the most difficult questions and is not afraid to jump in the most daunting problems involving virtual reality, mixed reality and beyond. One of the main projects the MSC is creating is a Burning Man camp involving VR silent disco, VR DJing and more.

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