In the Ready Player One film that was just released by Steven Spielberg, the audience is introduced to the OASIS, the virtual reality (VR) world where most of the action takes place. Given the latest VR and AR (augmented reality) craze, the movie will sure to be a hit. However, for Ben Hatto, a 13-year-old computer programmer and Animation 301 student, like the brilliant creator of the OASIS in the movie, Ben has a passion for VR technology and games.

Using a HTC VIVE VR system that his parents purchased for him, Ben is not only a player but also a creator. To develop his VR game, we’ll just call it Ben‘s OASIS, he learned Unity, a cross-platform game engine develop for 3D and 2D games for computers, consoles and mobile devices. As a young developer, he immersed himself into VR technology by tinkering with video production, 3D modeling like TinkerCAD, C# (C Sharp) programming language, and open SDK (Software Development Kit) to integrate with his VIVE set.

Ben used the VIVE to put all of his creations he’s made and put them on display for people to see. Our video production and game design instructor, Steven Kalis, had the chance to interview and play Ben‘s VR game. Steven said “It was like being at a museum for online art! There was even a direction tool to tell you where you’re moving.” Ben explained that he had to make a 3D model of an arrow to help the player navigate. We can tell he loves the VR technology and where it’s heading. Ben thinks that the technology is still better than AR because you are able to be in a different world with your friends. With every year that passes, he sees more people becoming interested in VR. He dreams of being a game designer and a 3D model artist for games that he looks up to such as Legend of Zelda. Ben is a very bright kid that started his journey early into the world of VR and is already making great things with video, coding and 3D modeling. And when you go see Ready Player One, although the film is set in the year 2045, for Ben, that future isn’t too far away.

To learn more about Ben and his VR game, watch the interview on our YouTube channel.