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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.

We’ve gone virtual. The Department of English is offering two new courses using virtual reality technology from our new VirtualSpace: “Writing Science Fiction,” which will be taught in spring 2018 by Associate Dean of the Faculty and Professor of English Davis Schneiderman and Associate Professor of English Joshua Corey will explore science fiction narrative through virtual reality environments. In summer 2018 as part of the ACCESS: Summer classes, the department will offer “Introduction to Virtual Reality,” which will explore virtual reality in terms of gaming, science, art, research, education, storytelling, and socializing.

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.)

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.