Taking Unity a step further, one can really explore the world of Virtual Reality. I particularly enjoyed a class demo, “Dear Angelica,” an Emmy Award winning Oculus journey through the magical and dreamlike ways we remember our loved ones. Really fascinating, larger than life, colorful beyond imagination, and moving. It actually incites emotion in the viewer and has the capacity to just throw you into the very middle of a story, while exploring it with its gentle guidance.
When we attended BUNKER, there were two other VR experiences. One was much like aversion therapy, in which you touch a cactus, then your hand becomes a cactus and you pop balloons. It opened my eyes to the idea of medical uses for VR. In class, we were told about the use of VR for burn victims, in which an individual’s pain was reduced by throwing snowballs at penguins in a cold landscape. Another VR exhibit at BUNKER involved exploring the childhood home of the creator, in which you could tour the halls and rooms, and watch family videos she had floating in various parts. Having only used VR previously in very brief stints, it was impressive to see how it is being applied, artistically, educationally, and for therapeutic purposes. I think the best part about VR is its capacity to illicit emotion, make people literally gasp, ooh and aah, and compel them to explore something that is computer generated and appears 3-dimensional.
I was happy to see the use of VR in final projects, particularly by Will, who immersed his Unity dance figures into complex landscapes, and successfully created multiple dimensions where users could explore, complete with lasers. Very cool and a lot of hard work and dedication!