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In partnership with NYVRNYC Media LabLittlstar and Samsung Studio, TimeWave launched VR Hackathon NY on July 10-12, 2015. Hosted by the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University, the hackathon took place at the NYU Tisch building at 721 Broadway, NYC 10003.

The VR Hackathon provided a lab environment for the experimentation and innovation of virtual reality – experiences, storytelling and games. The intense two-day format enabled people with diverse skillsets to come together, imagine and prototype concepts for virtual reality and other immersive technologies.

Judges: Chaki Ng, Clara Fernández-Vara, Omer Shapira, Steven Tabakin

Mentors: Shawn Van Every, Gary Yau-Chan, Callie Leone

Team: J Dakota Powell (Producer), Michael Campos, Gary Yau-Chan, Stream Gao, Edwin Soares, Ben Mills

Theme: Mythos & Moxie

While technology evolves at an accelerated rate, the fundamental tenets of story (Greek: “mythos”) remain the same. Story transcends technology and strikes the human heart. It allows us to glimpse universal truths as well as leads us to self discovery. 

In the 2015 VR Hackathon, we encouraged participants to probe VR with an eye on storytelling. Whether it’s a scene from a storyworld or a quirky character, we hoped to see VR content that pushed beyond shoot-em-ups and took users/audiences on an emotional journey. We also supported media creators with moxie – courage. Try things that had not been tried. In every project that didn’t quite work, something was gained or learned.

The VR Hackathon operated under the umbrella of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) public charity. See more.

VR Hackathon Winners


"1,111 Days" - Best Narrative VR

Island Music

"Island Music" - Best Wow Factor VR

VR Andalou

"un VR Andalou" - Best Wild Card VR

Trust Fall

"Trust Fall" - Best VR Made with Unity

Drone Operator

"Drone Operator" - Best Heart-Wrenching VR

Team: Subhuman. Project: “1,111 Days.” Rehmat Qadir, Sisa Bueno, Andrew Kim.

A tragic story of imprisonment in the notorious New York City Riker’s Island jail, which follows an innocent black teenager lost in the system who is ultimately scarred mentally and robbed of his life. 

Team: Virtual Space. Project: “Island Music.” Guilherme Pena Costa, Avery Leider, Zeev Kirsh, Luna, Dhruvil Gandhi, Syed Adil Hasan, Taranjyot Singh Multani.

You are the conductor of voices that you balance with Leap Motion and Oculus Rift to reach increasing levels of joy and harmony. Avoid and resolve discord on an island of sounds.

Team: VR Andalou. Project: “un VR Andalou.” Winslow Porter, David Lobser, Harold.

“un VR Andalou” places the viewer in the role of the heroine in the opening scenes of the infamous Dali/Bunuel film, “Un Chien Andalou”.

Team: Hackmanhattan. Project: “Trust Fall.” John Lee, Mykayla Fernandez.

A co-op trust-based virtual reality game challenging the way people communicate in order to achieve a common goal.

Team: Three Sisters. Project: Drone Operator. Anthony Marefat, Sam Snider-Held, Harry Thompson.

A meta-narrative of someone (drone operator) doing the job.

The July 10th Mega Meet-Up (Friday) featured the following speakers:

  • Ken Perlin, founder of the NYU Media Research Lab and professor of Computer Science at NYU, and artist, animator and creative coder David Lobser launched with a presentation on shared VR space.
  • The Littlstar development team addressed VR distribution as well as how to develop, upload and stream VR on the Littlstar platform.
  • Tom Harding, Director of Immersive Products & Virtual Reality at Samsung
  • Joergen Geerds, CEO / Creative Director of Freedom 360

Hosted by the Samsung Studio in Soho, the Mega Meet-Up took place from 6pm to 8pm at 130 Prince Street, NY 10012.

On Friday July 10, Freedom 360 conducted a workshop, introducing hackers to live action VR. They covered the basics of hardware and software – the do’s and the don’ts in live action VR. Q & A followed.


VR Hackathon Sponsors