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Virtual Reality by Tamara Qutmiera

The stuff you would dream about as a child is now tangible. Yes, you can put on a virtual reality headset and enter another world (you can even do so at the NDNU student success center). Yes, there are a multitude of VR video games in which you can get lost. But when will we see more of VR TV?

In December 2016, TV channel Showcase announced a new innovative show, Halcyon, which will combine VR elements with a typical TV show. Made up of 10 short-form webisodes and five interactive VR episodes, Halcyon will be an interactive police procedural, with a little twist, so the viewer can be apart of the show through virtual reality. 

The game is set in the year 2040 and the series focuses on Blake Creighton. Users can discard the VR headset and access virtual space using neurological implants that manipulate the senses to create a virtual world. So when the main character, Blake Creighton, is found dead and presumed murdered, Detective Jules Dover and her partner, Asha, investigate if this could be the world’s first virtual murder.

And that’s where the adventure begins. In Halcyon‘s VR episodes, you’re able to transport to the actual crime scene in VR and partake in the criminal investigation into Creighton’s death. You can move around the room, collect evidence, interact with objects and dust for fingerprints, looking for clues to help solve the crime. If you ever wanted to transport into a TV show, now’s your chance.

“I think this is incredibly interesting and pretty cool, but people need to remember that they still need to go outside and enjoy life. It’s kind of scary how quickly technology is evolving, and thinking about what the world is going to be like in 10-2o years, is terrifying. When it’s all said and done, I just hope people are still going to be able to interact with one another face to face and not have to hide behind a screen,” said Junior Victoria Mantler.

The catch is that this experience is only available for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. In other words, you need to have a Samsung phone and an Oculus VR set to participate.

If you are interested in the virtual reality world, and want to give it a try before considering purchasing, you can do so here at NDNU, and free of charge! At the student success center, students that work there are more than willing to show you how it’s done. There is a wide variety of virtual reality sets including the oculus rift, htc vive, hololense, and zSpace. Basically, any type of VR set you’d dream of giving a go, is available.

At the student success center you have the option of trying out the many different things that virtual reality has to offer. Video games (yes they have shooting ones), obstacles that test your biggest fears (such as heights, the dark, claustrophobic settings, etc.), you can travel the world and really feel like you’re there, play basketball with Lebron James, and more.

“VR is the new wave because quite a few jobs are requiring you to be familiar with the technology. And, the coolest thing about it is that this is just the beginning. Lord knows what this technology will be like five years from now! So my job as the VR/AR coordinator, is to get people into the student success center and show them all the opportunities that can come from such advanced technology, and to help them get familiar with it,” said Senior Brandon Davis.

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