After watching the virtual reality video, I feel like anything is possible. At school, we have a “Books Are Fun” vendor that comes around to sell cute little items that are sometimes hard to find anywhere else, but in this month’s available products there was an “As Seen On TV” virtual reality mask that fits with Samsung phones. So, I do believe that virtual reality items such as this one or the Microsoft Kinect as modeled in the video will be in every home before we know it. I love the idea of students from all over being able to get into one of the virtual programs and learn how the environment can change over time. That, to me, means they can watch any type of action that might take place and speculate the possible future from certain actions. That would be great to use in history class. Imagine being able to predict what was going to happen as World War II progressed by just plugging in possibilities and witnessing the reactions that take place. One day perhaps we can do that with everything and play out possible scenarios before they actually take place to see what pitfalls or possibilities lay ahead.
I can also see the virtual reality programs being used for students to train and learn. For instance, the article mentioned training for hospital care or practicing military missions. I heard somewhere that the military already engaged in virtual role play for part of their training. I could completely understand how that would be beneficial. The collaboration and team-building would be incredible with the ability to build things together. I believe virtual reality is going to become a huge part of our human lives and integrating in instruction for school, college and any other training will definitely utilize this resource.
I signed up for Second Life and tried it out. It is pretty cool. It is like a video game to me in that I need a 12 year old to help me really get started. I chose my avatar and jumped and flew, but I am not sure where to go from there. I know I can build things, but it was getting late and I didn’t engage in that yet. However, I will explore it more. My son was a huge World of Warcraft player. I used to pay a monthly fee for him to play with people all over the world. He found a way to build his characters up and then sell them to someone who would actually pay real money. (Hmmm, could be a little business there). I would watch him play sometimes and when he earned new battle-gear, he would be excited to show me. He would match up with some of his friends and they would become a team to fight against other teams.
I love the idea of virtual reality and would like to do a simulation sometime just to experience it.