By Taylor McKelvey
Thiel students and faculty had varying experiences with a virtual reality (VR) demonstration on campus on Wednesday, Sept. 20.
Students and faculty used Oculus Rift equipment acquired in Spring 2017, just prior to the first public VR demonstration on campus.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that she had tried to VR before but wasn’t doing it again because the goggles that were worn during a prior experience gave her a “headache and made her feel uncomfortable.” So she watched a few friends participate.
Many other students and professors made similar statements, saying they did not like having the screen close to their eyes and the closeness resulted in headaches.
But several students found the virtual reality to be fascinating and fun. A senior psychology major noted how realistic the demonstration was. “I choose the traveling abroad demonstration, and I felt as if I was really there, looking out at all the different scenery.”
Overall, very few students and faculty attended the event, co-sponsored by the James Pedas Communication Center and the Division of Student Life.
“VR is a cutting edge technology in journalism, documentary film, museums, and other nonfiction expression,” said Dane S. Claussen, Thiel’s James Pedas Professor of Media, Communication and Public Relations and Executive Director of the Pedas Center. “We will continue to share it with the entire campus as well as use it in media courses.”
Before participating, students and faculty needed to sign a waiver explaining that Thiel College was not liable participants being injured.