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Communications and Marketing

Lake Forest College makes ‘virtual reality’ a reality on campus

A new VR lab allows students and faculty to experiment with the latest in experiential technologies.

The VirtualSpace, located in the Donnelley and Lee Library on Middle Campus, is equipped with a virtual reality headset that allows the user to move in 3D space and to use motion-tracked handheld controllers to interact with the environment. Though the technology is commonly used for gaming, in this case it is intended for College faculty and students to engage with and produce a range of immersive media. 

The VirtualSpace is part of a host of so-called InnovationSpaces across campus where Foresters can design and print 3D images, record electronic and digital sounds, and create multi-media works of art. (Learn more.)

To try out the new technology in an academic setting, the Department of English is offering two new courses where VR is explored: “Writing Science Fiction,” which will be taught in spring semester, and “Introduction to Virtual Reality,” which will be taught as part of the College’s ACCESS: Summer programs.

The VirtualSpace is made possible by the College’s Digital Chicago: Unearthing History and Culture project, funded by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and by the College’s Department of Library and Information Technology. 

Below is a screenshot of Communication major Abigail Samuelson ’19 using the technology; you can watch the video here.  
Communication major Abigail Samuelson ’19 explores the deep sea using new VR technology.