[Open Hours Demonstration] Virtual “Reality”: an experiential introduction

Join us on Friday 29th March as we host another Open Hours session between 1 and 2pm at the Digital Humanities Hub | Te Pokapū Matihiko o Te Kete Aronui!

Topic  – Virtual “Reality” : an  experiential introduction to the real, the unreal, and the just plain cool of VR technology

Our guest this week is Brandon Couch from the English and Linguistics Programme, who will be demonstrating the VR capability in our Creative Media suite and introducing some of its (non)fictional worlds of virtual possibility. Join us as we explore and discuss!

Virtual reality (VR) – the futuristic, far-off technology humanity has dreamt of since we first learned to put images on an electronic screen, is undeniably ‘here’. From the leisure and fun of the Holodeck in Star Trek to the dystopian prison of The Matrix, the concept of a fully engrossing virtual world in which the imagination is the only limit has captured human wonder, curiosity, and anxiety for decades.

Today, the technologies of virtual reality and its counterpart, augmented reality – the overlay of digital features onto the world we see around us – have rapidly advanced, and we have virtual environments which allow participants to engross themselves in worlds both fictional and factual. These include: a virtual reality participant can find themselves face to face with a dragon in the VR adaptation of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, then moments later soar above a digitalised copy of the Grand Canyon in Google Earth VR. They can meditate, train, or dance with people from across the planet in Altspace VR, or experience another dimension – literally – of painting and visual art in the 3D VR art program Tilt Brush.

VR technology has near-boundless potential, and with the virtual experiences available to us now, it’s certainly exciting to consider what the future may hold.

Samsung’s Virtual Reality MWC 2016 Press Conference | Wikimedia Commons

Reading & Viewing

Virtual Reality – Chris Woodward | Explain That Stuff!

An intelligent medium-density overview of VR for the non-technically minded.

Why Virtual Reality is about the change the world – Joel Stein | Time Magazine

A feature article from 2015 outlining the changes that VR headsets could  bring.

I spent a week in a VR headset, here’s what happened – Jak Wilmot | Disrupt

WHEN: 1pm – 2pm, Friday 29th March 2019

WHERE: Digital Humanities Hub, Room 1W3, First Floor, Arts Building

WHO: Anyone in the University community – there’s no advance registration required, but we always appreciate knowing in advance if you are planning to come along!

CONTACT: Alexander Ritchie alexander.ritchie@otago.ac.nz

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