8
Jan

Facebook’s VR Group Bops to the Top

At the beginning of the month we have interviewed Alexandre Calil Sicchieri Silva, World VR Forum’s new Regional Ambassador of Brazil who also happens to be Brazil’s top connoisseur of Virtual Reality on his biggest VR project, the Virtual Reality group on Facebook. 

Mounting up the spindling ladder of success, the Virtual Reality group on Facebook has secured its Number 1 spot thanks to its greatest contributor and Administrator, Alexandre Calil Sicchieri Silva from Brazil.

The group was created in 2012 by Pablo Barto, and is also administered by Albert Sanchez since 2014. Today, it stands proudly with nearly 40,000 members, and it is constantly growing in size.

Silva, who comes from an education and gaming background, first had his interest in VR six years ago, when Oculus Rift was announced on Kickstarter, which was supported by some of the biggest names in the gaming industry like Gabe Newell, Michael Abrash and John Carmack, meaning that something really serious was coming from that project. As a gamer, Silva was searching for more immersion in the games and has been following gaming news since that time.

That’s when I started learning about VR,” said Silva, “however, at that time, there was not much news around, so I joined some Facebook groups to find more information but realized that I had more information than the groups.” 

Ever since, Silva has been sharing latest VR news and contributing his insight to Facebook’s VR groups on a daily basis. Four years ago, in 2014, Silva joined Facebook’s Virtual Reality group, which, was the fourth largest Facebook group dedicated to VR at the time, with 4,000 members.

Six months later, immersed in the process of enlightening the world about VR, Silva started managing the group as one of the groups administers. Over those six months, the Virtual Reality group evolved into the largest online community, rising above the rest with 10,000 members.

The Virtual Reality group, unlike other Facebook VR groups which are dedicated to specific brands and particular types of VR, is a source of general information for all things VR and AR, spilling latest news, trends and content from different sources. Due to Silva’s frequent posts, the group grew organically, with no advertisement. Silva, who administers five other VR groups, posts everything for free as a hobby, with no contribution or support from the sponsors.

My biggest reward for joining this group was when I was chosen as one of the jury members for the WVRF Annual Summit in May of 2016,” admitted Silva, “and I look forward to taking part in the upcoming WVRF Annual Summit in June, which hopefully will be even more extravagant, reaching an even bigger international community in the future with a stronger Brazilian presence.” 

Although Silva develops VR projects of his own, for now, he is focused on promoting the works of others. With his posts, Silva generates content connection with VR community in the world, influence, and visibility, helping the Virtual Reality group reach its goal of increasing its reliance and organization this year, attracting companies to sponsor the group’s members’ VR work and getting Facebook to provide even more support to these communities and help it become a more professional place.

For the most part, the Brazilian VR community consists of small groups of professionals with funds, growing thanks to receipt production. Silva is also CEO of VRXP – Virtual Reality Experience, Consulting Agency for VR training in Sertãozinho, Sao Paulo, Brazil and has been the Coordinator of BIG Festival (Brazil’s Independent Games Festival) and some other major Brazilian cinematic VR events.

As Silva has worked as an English teacher for 12 years and quit only a year ago to fully dedicate himself to VR, one of Silva’s aims with VRXP and Facebook’s Virtual Reality group is educating the masses about the VR medium, as he strives to bring VR-related courses on media, image and sound to universities.

Furthermore, Silva views VR as a great teaching tool for training in all kinds of fields, and would also like to see it as an educational tool for teaching and learning languages in the future. No matter the topic, education, gaming, or films, Silva always has his mega-stellar VR network to spread the word – Facebook’s Virtual Reality group.