Learning in virtual reality

Put Down the Textbook: How VR is Reimagining Classroom Education

We’ve spent the last month investigating many angles within virtual reality—from its implications on the web, to how VR can create peak emotional experiences on demand, to discussing whether it is okay if we prefer VR to our own physical reality.Last week, we brought the dialogue to Singularity University with the Future of Virtual Reality Event. After demos and during a panel discussion at the event, the speakers hit on an area that we have yet to cover in depth—learning and education. During the panel, Jazmin Cano, co-founder of VR gaming company Winistry and previously lead tech artist at Discovr Labs, guided the conversation to the subject of education and how we might use VR to create educational environments that are conducive for learners that thrive in more visual and immersive settings. ….[READ]

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VR is going to the festival

Bringing virtual reality to Burning Man

Virtual reality isn’t just a technology. It’s a movement. That’s how Shannon Norrell describes VR and, as Burning Man kicks off, the software developer is bringing it to the tens of thousands expected to attend the festival. Norrell, who works at Hewlett-Packard, raised more than $10,000 on Kickstarter to create what he said will be the first-ever VR camp for the “Burners” gathering in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. He also received equipment donations from a number of tech giants including Google, Hewlett-Packard and Nvidia. “At Burning Man, the sky’s the limit for creating art,” Norrell said. “Whatever you can imagine, you can build. And that’s what VR is about as well.” ….[READ]


Does VR make you feel sick?

How We’re Battling Virtual Reality’s Dreaded Simulator Sickness

Like many other eager early adopters, my first encounter with virtual reality headsets began with heart-pounding excitement, and ended in nightmarish nausea. To an unfortunate subpopulation of people, virtual reality’s side effects are no joke. The eyestrain and stomach upset can be so severe that Gabe Newell, the president and co-founder of gaming heavyweight Valve, dubbed current headsets as the “world’s best motion sickness inducers.” And it’s certainly not a fringe problem. Based on past US Navy studies using VR-like flight simulators, the fraction of affected individuals can be as high as 40% depending on the nature of the task. Even worse, the more active the user is and the longer the user stays in the virtual world, the more likely they will become very, very sick. ….[READ]

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Virtual storytelling

Virtual theater opens new doors for performance artists

Storytelling is a valuable form of human expression that has been around since the very ancient times. Story itself is essential to so many art forms, and theater is one of them. We have written before about how virtual reality could be applied to journalism and immersive storytelling. Theatrical “storytellers” are yet another creative group who can benefit from holding performances in virtual settings. In fact, virtual theater isn’t even new. There are several organizations that already use virtual worlds to produce theatrical live performances for people who have appreciation for acting and playwriting. …[READ]


Will you bet on AR or VR?

Virtual reality versus augmented reality: Which is the future?

They’re both new technologies, cutting edge in fact, both currently involve dorky hardware and are the subject of fascination to the world’s most influential people in tech. But the advent of AR or VR could lead us down very different paths in entertainment, gaming, communication and industry. So which will out? Augmented reality which overlays virtual 3D graphics onto our view of the real world or virtual reality which immerses us in 360 degree views of new worlds with little or no sensory input from the room your body is actually in. Here’s how the two technologies stack up. ….[READ]


How gamification affects us

Video games are tackling mental health with mixed results

Mental illness occupies a strange place in video games. After centuries of misdiagnosis and misinterpretation, we’ve begun to comprehend the reasons behind disorders and their prevalence in modern society. Recent research shows that roughly one in five American adults suffers from some form of mental health issue each year. When it comes to the media, though, these conditions are frequently misrepresented and misunderstood, and video games in particular lean on lazy stereotypes and tropes. Mental illness is used as a motivation for villainy, thrown in as an “interesting” game mechanic or mischaracterized as the sum and whole of a character’s personality. ….[READ]


Virtual reality versus augmented reality

Why Oculus isn’t pursuing augmented reality

Oculus has been a pioneer in virtual reality, literally kickstarting the current growth in the field. Yet the company has shown no real interest in the sibling technology of augmented reality, despite the seeming overlap in potential applications. At Gamescom 2015, WIRED.co.uk spoke with Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, who outlined the reasons for keeping the realities divergent. In short? Augmented reality isn’t advanced enough yet to match what Oculus can do with immersive VR, and they don’t expect it to be for a long time yet. “It is a different market because it’s a different user experience,” Iribe says. “You see the real world and [rendered models will] appear holographic for a long time, because matching the lighting of the real world through the glasses is incredibly difficult. ….[READ]