I Taught a Class in Virtual Reality!

Blog Posts ,Events ,High Fidelity ,Random Musings ,Virtual Reality
February 25, 2017

Teaching in Virtual Reality

Every day, I feel incredibly fortunate to go to work in such an amazing industry that has no shortages of new and exciting things to explore and learn. This past week, I got a chance to bring together two of my favorite things that I’ve been doing over the past several years: Talk about development, and be in VR! Last week, I got to teach my first-ever class while being inside of a VR device, talking to people from all over the world!

It was awesome. It was intimidating. It was a new kind of challenge that really hit home the potential of virtual reality devices and social experiences in connecting and learning from people, no matter where they are.

I’ve recently wrote about some of the different elements of building for High Fidelity, and as a part of that, I got to teach a lesson about using JavaScript and 3D entities to build a recreation of the wave-based bow & arrow game Longbow to an audience of avatars in the University domain in High Fidelity. Teaching in VR was new to me – having the flexibility to build and pull up different reference materials on the spot that were shared was awesome, and spawning various elements from the game to talk about how the game was built provided some cool visual aids that would be impossible to replicate easily in a physical classroom.

There’s an interesting component of teaching in virtual reality, in that there’s a new degree of privacy between the instructor and students. When someone is socially present, but also has their own set of private windows and screens, there’s a unique type of connection. While right now, we’re largely protected by our avatar’s expressions, improvements in facial, eye, and mouth tracking technologies mean that we’ll soon get a sense of when a virtual person may not be paying attention, or be able to better read their body language to adjust the tone and structure of a conversation. It’s fascinating stuff!

If you want to check out upcoming events in High Fidelity, you can find the current calendar of events here.

GDC is Upon Us!

On an unrelated topic, VRDC/GDC is coming up next week! I’ll be around the conference on Monday and Tuesday attending sessions, on and off the rest of the week, and hopping around to the VR-related evening events as much as possible. It’s hard to cram so much into a single week! It’s my first time attending outside of the Expo, so I’m pretty psyched. If you’re in town and want to catch up, drop me a line or find me at one of these events:

Monday[email protected] Mixer (Presented by HYPEREAL)

Wednesday: VR Mixer

Thursday: 3D Games GDC Happy Hour, Women in Gaming Luncheon, Women in VR at GDC, WebGL/WebVR at GDC

I’ll be bouncing around and trying to squeeze in as much as possible, so Twitter will be the best way to keep in touch throughout the next week if you want to say hi or chat!

-L

Header photo courtesy of @HighFidelityInc

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