During the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations, especially nonprofits, are struggling to raise money. This fall, the VR/AR Association, Pro Putt By TOPGOLF, tvori, and ENGAGE collaborated to launch the world’s first virtual reality golf tournament, Ready Player Golf, on September 25-26. The event, which ran on Pro Putt By TOPGOLF, a VR Golf app on the Oculus Quest platform, raised $12,300 for Doctors Without Borders and attracted 78 donors and 60 players, including celebrity actor and first-time VR golf enthusiast John Rhys-Davies. Players met up via Zoom and were matched in groups based on four different time zones.
“This was a landmark event for our industry, working in tandem with third-party apps, to engage people in a community and support a fundraising goal,” said Vice President of the D.C. Chapter of the VR/AR Association Sophia Moshasha. “It was cool to see the camaraderie that developed among the players in VR.”
Scores were tracked through the app to determine the longest drive or holes in one, followed by an awards show the following day on the Engage app that was also visible via personal computers, headsets, Youtube, and Livestream.
“People stayed afterward to network, and many are now creating their own communities and connecting via LinkedIn,” she said. “They want to keep playing with the people they met and networked with at the tournament. They’re also asking us when Round 2 is going to happen, so we’re planning another one in February.”
For more information about infusing AR and VR simulation models into teaching and learning experiences, visit the Shenandoah Center for Innovative Technology.