sony-morpheus-gdc-2015-hands-on-1The 30th Game Developers Conference today begins its week-long occupation of San Francisco’s Moscone Center. In addition to the usual collection of one- and two-day “summits” that precede the core Wednesday-Friday conference, this year’s GDC includes a new two-day program. The Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC) is a new event for creators of amazing, immersive VR (and AR) experiences.

GDC’s promotion of the VRDC, and the event’s “new conference” status, reflects the fascination with VR & AR that is widespread, but perhaps deepest in the games industry. The new VRDC includes two tracks. A “Game VR/AR Track” for game developers, and an “Entertainment VR/AR Track” for “multiple industries including filmmaking, travel, retail, fitness, product design, journalism, and sports.”

For the GDC to devote a track to non-game content would be consistent with a transitional status for VRDC, co-located with GDC until it proves itself capable of independent flight. And VRDC is off to a strong start: VRDC-specific tickets are sold out.

Dan Scherlis is an executive producer of health games, including the NIH-funded BreatheFree smoking-cessation intervention. Dan was founding Content Director of Comverse Mobile Games. At Turbine, he was CEO, and Producer of the Asheron’s Call MMO.