Technology enables us to move beyond our reality to tell stories. Today the entertainment industry is forging into augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR). Black people and their stories, however, are scarce in these environments. In the same way that the film and gaming industries are dominated by whites, extended reality (XR) is developing in a lily-white environment. Today, however, Crux is changing the narrative and taking the stories of Black artists to a new dimension — literally.
Crux is a new, Black owned and operated studio that supports Black artists in the creation and distribution of XR content. Crux helps guide Black creatives “through all stages of ideation, education, capitalization, and distribution.” Crux has identified two clear problem and is working strategically to combat them. In the first place, there are no companies expressly committed to distributing XR content from Black creators, which creates a “severe lack of diverse representation within the XR industry.” Second, Black artists simply can’t build sustainable businesses through philanthropy, making the development of new, scalable revenue streams necessary.
Crux is working to launch the first distribution platform to aggregate and present XR content from Black creatives. The studio plans to spur the creation of new, high quality XR content and regularly convene Black creatives to foster greater support and collaboration. Ultimately, Crux hopes to develop a business model that will make arts businesses profitable and sustainable, for Black artists. What Crux is endeavoring to do is far beyond growing a company; Crux aims to literally shift the appearance of an emerging industry, for the benefit of Black people.
The future is now and XR serves as clear evidence. The world is evolving and with it, the limits of human imagination. XR will enable the human species to give expression to that, for years to come. Even so, without a Black presence, Black stories will remain an afterthought. Crux is endeavoring to create a new reality, one in which Black stories are at the forefront and quite literally out of this world.
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I love this article.
My sons and I opened the first black owned VR studio in Canada and we have been in operations now for just under 2 years. It has been challenging but we would to hear more about how we can get our hands on this content.