When virtual reality comes to mind, many people are unclear as to what that is. When itâ€™s described more like â€œthat video game where you put on the headsetâ€, many more people shake their heads in understanding. As participants in the virtual reality studio find out, it is much more than â€œthat video game with the headsetâ€.
For the past 8 months, I have been working as a research assistant in the Virtual Reality Studio at TRU in the School of Business and Economics. Dr. Andrew Fergus, Chair of Human Enterprise and Innovation, is the lead researcher for this study.
Entering virtual reality is like dipping into another world while forgetting that you are still standing in a normal room. You can visit jellyfish underwater, fight robots in a futuristic cityscape, or play Beat Saver – a cool mashup of Fruit Ninja and Dance Dance Revolution.Â
The purpose of Professor Fergusâ€™s study is to collect individualsâ€™ first impressions of the virtual reality experience. I schedule participants on a weekly basis, who come in to do three different activities that each gives you a unique virtual adventure. Professor Fergus intends for the study to “evolve into an immersive learning environment for teamwork and leadership principles, where five individuals all in one game interact and work together to reach a specific objective”.
The highlight of my time as a research assistant in the Virtual Reality Studio has been seeing everyoneâ€™s reactions to the activities. Most people are unsure of what to expect and are quickly blown away by the detailed graphics and seamless 360-degree view. We use the Oculus Rift, one of the highest quality VRs available commercially today. It is truly an experience like none other!
Watch below to learn more about the research:
The Virtual Reality Studio is open for participants every Wednesday afternoon. If youâ€™re interested in playing some cool games and would like to contribute to this research, please reach out to me at [email protected].
Have questions about the research? Comment below! #TRUfam