Videogame company pitches virtual reality labs to higher ed

Dive Brief:

  • German videogame company Crytek has launched the VR First initiative to bring more virtual reality labs to universities across the globe.
  • Campus Technology reports schools get free access to the source code for Crytek’s Cryengine development software along with headsets and other equipment from Crytek’s hardware partners.
  • A university in Istanbul was first to join the initiative and Purdue University, the University of Florida, California State University Monterey Bay and the University of Southern California all have labs through the program.

Dive Insight:

Virtual reality has become a bigger focus at colleges and universities, not just for videogame design but for recruitment and distance learning. Savannah College of Art and Design last year sent 10,000 virtual reality headsets to prospective students to give them a chance to tour SCAD campuses without leaving home. Penn State engineering students designed a prototype for distance learners that uses interactive, three-dimensional simulations to offer online participants in courses an immersive experience. The goal of the project is to improve student outcomes by increasing engagement.

As with the rise of new buildings and classrooms dedicated to collaborative learning and student-centered design, administrators must consider how rooms like virtual reality labs will be used before building them. Without training and planning beyond simple construction, shiny new buildings or labs can’t be used to their full potential.

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Campus Technology: Crytek Brings VR Labs to Universities