Student Worker Reflection

My name is Yuxi, one of the student worker in the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Culture room. I’m a first-year undergrad student from the Big Apple currently studying business here at Carnegie Mellon.

First Experience With VR

When I read about the Global Languages and Culture Room, I was very intrigued. When I thought of VR, the first thing that popped up in my mind were games. I was surprised that VR technology can be used to educate students on culture and promote global experience. On top of that, I had never tried VR before arriving, so I was very excited. To get started, Stephan introduced me to the “First Contact” VR tutorial on the Oculus Rift. It featured a friendly robot guide who showed the user the basic of using the controllers and how the user can interact with it. Through fun little virtual objects like butterflies and rockets, I learned to use the controller to perform actions like picking up an object or pushing a button. Though the tutorial was short, I was able to learn all the basics I needed to start exploring the other programs Oculus has to offer.
Screenshots from the Oculus "First Contact"
Since then, I have had a lot of fun trying out all the different experience the room offers, such as Google Earth VR, Coco VR, 360 music videos, as well as numerous documentaries.

Visitor Experiences 

As a student worker, part of my job is to show visitors around the room. I especially love showing them the VR experience and often, they come into the room never having experienced VR like me.
One faculty member tried Coco VR because her son was a big fan of Coco and he was going to be dressed up as the main character, Miguel, for Halloween. After completing the Oculus VR tutorial, she was ready to explore the world of Coco. She excitedly pointed out the familiar characters and settings as she walked around the virtual town. A friend of mine also explored the room. He was especially excited about Google VR and was able to ‘fly over’ his mom’s hometown in Korea using the HTC Vive. It was not only nice for him to be able to virtually visit Korea and it was also convenient because the Vive was able to accommodate his glasses. He also enjoyed the rollercoaster game on the Oculus and described it as feeling very real. I believe there are endless possibilities when it comes to the future of VR and everyone should definitely give it a try! Be sure to visit the Global Languages & Culture Room during our open hours.

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