Virtual Reality

Virtual and augmented reality: How does your planned profession leverage these digital media channels?

Creating a virtual world that we can experience through hardware such as screens and headphones gives an augmented sensual experience. Virtual Reality technology has been incorporated into many businesses for staff recruitment, training, conferences, meetings and brainstorming.

IBM & Second Life

In October, 2008, IBM’s Academy of Technology set up a virtual world within Second Life to host a Virtual World Conference. This was done in a secure environment and attracted 200 members globally who attended many different sessions. There was a virtual universe community (VUC) who volunteered their time and acted as concierge for arriving guests and who assist them with locations and event details. The virtual space was utilised to a fine degree to push the potential of virtual reality and interactivity. There were presentations that were displayed around the gardens; there was the Virtual Green Data Centre which actually simulated IBM’s green technology; and there was a 3D model of a server to show viewers how to service it in fine detail. They hailed the event a great success and estimated they saved over $300,000 (in travel, venue costs etc.) IBM also used Second Life as a part of their Annual General Meeting to host “Poster Sessions”; this is where new members can show off their credentials and “discuss their work with other participants” ( People at the end of sessions would come together, in the virtual plaza, and chat about the day with other workers over virtual beers and drinks.

Second Life

  • Developed by Linden Lab in 2003
  • Can collaborate, communicate, do business, educate
  • Large hub of UGC
  • $360 million user-to-user transactions in 2008

IBM Virtual Onboarding with Second Life


U.S. Army

Virtual Reality is also being implemented throughout government organisations for specialised training. The U.S. Army have introduced the Dismounted Soldier Training System that gives a realistic simulation in soldier and squad training; real life scenarios are played out in a virtual world. There is an After Action Review (AAR), which records the training scenario; commanders can sit down and go through with the soldiers what was happening and give them feedback. They receive a review of how a soldier performs the training task and then can be replayed in needed. With the wide selection of environments, different scenarios and entities that can be introduced; the virtual world for training is almost limitless. While the soldiers are in training, the commanders can at any time place obstacles in the way of soldiers to test their flexibility and versatility. There are environments to simulate terrain such as Afghanistan and Iraq; there are mountainous scapes, woods, urban and desert landscapes ( By using the DSTS, it saves the Army’s costs such as fuel, ammunition and weaponry; while making the training process more efficient.


  • Designed by Intelligent Decisions; cost $57 million
  • HMD – Head Mounted Display
  • Head, Leg, Arm sensors sense motion
  • Move head & body; no walking, this is done by joystick

Paperdude VR!

This was of interest to me as I used to play Paperboy on the Atari Lynx a very long time ago. Paperdude VR is an unofficial homage to that game; this game idea was created by Globacore (based in Toronto). The idea of Paperboy/dude is to ride on your bike and throw newspapers into your customers’ mailboxes. By incorporating the use of the Oculus Rift headset (for the panoramic experience), the Kinect (for movement detection) and a stationary bike with KickR speed tracker (for pedalling), the player is immersed into the Paperdude virtual world. The game is only in prototype stages, but by creating the opportunity to be immersed in an ‘old-school’ virtual world could breathe life back into nostalgic games such as Mario Kart and Pac-Man. (

Paperdude VR Video


Bymer, M. L. (08/01/2012). , 2013, from

Lab, L. (2008). How meeting in second life transformed IBM’s technology elite into virtual world believers., 2013, from

Steuer, J. (1993). Defining virtual reality: Dimensions determining telepresence.

Vanhemert, K. (08/01/2013). , 2013, from


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