This article first appeared in Mississippi Today on September 14, 2017.
CLARKSDALE – A father and son duo is training high school students to create their own virtual reality experiences that may produce jobs for the students and their peers in this area.
Vince Jordan and his son, Josiah Jordan, founders of Lobaki Inc., a company that creates and sells VR applications in the marketplace, teamed up with five students during Juke Joint Festival – half blues festival, half small town fair – in April to offer them a job becoming VR curators. They guided more than 175 people through VR experiences during the event.
But, in order to get students to participate, they needed to get paid, said Vince. The five students made $900 and split it evenly.
“You can offer them the most elaborate amazing program that other people would pay $10,000 to $20,000 for and offer it to them for free but they can’t come because they’re expecting to get paid,” he said. “So we actually had to raise funds to pay them to be able to take advantage of this program.”
In a partnership with Indigo, a nonprofit that helps to empower high school and college students in impoverished communities through personality assessments, those same students attended the VR Academy in which they created their own experience, Fall Fear Fly Redemption, taking an outer space bow and arrow game to the next level.
Students received $165 a week for attending the academy.