As game designers, our team at 302 Interactive uses the technology and techniques from game development and applies them to “everything else”. From healthcare and education, to attractions and concerts — we aim to improve all aspects of life by enabling a lifestyle of play.
But, in our variety of projects, one of my favorite technology marvels has continued to challenge our ability to deploy and scale as a solution — virtual reality.
Always love seeing people’s excitement when we bring Talon Simulation’s VR arcade setup out to our event booth
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in tune with the lingo and the announcements from Meta and Pico last month, so I won’t bore you and get straight to the point; the friction that VR hardware has for customers is still too high to deploy as a solution, at scale.
VR hardware, like the Meta Quest, gets rightfully compared to next-gen game consoles in both price and consumer experience, but that also presents it’s inherent problem as a practical solution outside of consumer entertainment. Imagine, as an example, we design an educational game that improves both test scores and long-term retention, but we only deployed it on PlayStation. How practical would it be for us to deploy an abundance of PlayStations across a school system? It’s not.
And yet, we are still obsessed with virtual reality and aim to improve the medium as both a playful User Experience (UX) and an accessible Customer Experience (CX)
Because the immersion of visual and tactical senses that are possible in VR creates a truly playful experience that most mediums fail to match, and it’s important work to us that we find avenues for distribution of this wonderfully immersive technology.
And so we are always looking for ways to craft experiences and solutions in the medium, even if it’s in small doses.
Last month, we had the pleasure of working with Unity and the Orlando Economic Partnership to help them unveil their Regional Digital Twin installation at the Partnership’s HQ. We brought together elements of their installation and adapted it into an educational experience for the OEP to travel the country with during their marketing campaigns to provide access to a wider audience.
Though the project was small in scale, it was a welcome reminder of how far VR development has come since our Oculus DK1 days.
Even so, the question remains — Can we deploy VR solutions reasonably?
There’s still a lot of friction to deploying VR to a wide audience, but I look forward to finding new pathways for getting folks in headsets😎
After doing talks online and across the country covering XR and how we design playful experiences at 302, I thought I’d bring some of my thoughts and ideas to a blog of my own under our design practice — Everyday Play✨
Please reach out with your thoughts on what you want me to ramble about and feel free to share the blog as well. Thanks!
My Substack newsletter:
Can we deploy VR solutions reasonably? was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.