Jill’s First Experience with VR

My first week interning at SparkNET, I heard a lot about virtual reality. I caught peeks of people playing on my way out of the office and listened in as VR games dominated office conversation. Not being an avid gamer myself and having my experience with virtual reality consist only of YouTube’s 360 degree videos, I did not feel immediately compelled to give it a try. But today I took an offer to put on VR glasses for the first time and the result left me pleasantly surprised.

    The game I played, Tilt Brush, was more of an art project than a traditional game, showing me that VR can appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. I began by choosing my brushstroke and color, just as I would do on Microsoft Paint. Within a few minutes of playing I realized I was not taking full advantage of the 360 degree atmosphere, only adding brushstrokes to a nonexistent 2D canvas directly in front of me. It took me changing my environment— outer space, night sky, or dress form— to get my brushstrokes moving in all dimensions.

    Once I took full advantage of my environment, I began to really enjoy the experience and the uniqueness of what I could create. I was able to build a sculpture out of brushstrokes and design a dress without picking up a sewing needle. For the most part I stuck with my usual doodling, only this time it was doodling in outer space, surrounded by stars and planets.

    Overall, my experience today leads me to believe that VR could be the future of home entertainment. Just like a computer, it has the ability to run programs that appeal to all interests, but it also has the power to redefine these interests— enabling an artist to paint without a canvas, for example. I am confident in the future of virtual reality and am glad to have been the first of my friends to give it a try.

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