Virtual Experiences The New Reality

The last two years have been a whirlwind for everyone. I’m deeply empathetic to those who have lost someone, like me, been ill, or suffered economically. The last couple of years showed a massive cultural shift towards everything but the essential taking place online. The new reality is virtual. 

Restaurants all turned to takeout, and companies moved from in-person meetings to Zoom meetings. Other than those who saved time on a commute and hated working from offices, the last two years have been weird. But we have also seen outstanding innovation in some sectors. 

One of the more creative things I’ve seen was an almost complete pivot of corporate retreat and team building to online experiences. It was a clever way to keep coworkers a bit more connected with one another and foster collaboration and empathy even as we were all running out of f*cks to give (explicit lyrics). 

The Zoom blog highlighted the story of an event agency that started creating unique virtual experiences. The idea of Zoom-based a online murder mystery is incredibly cool; it is VR, but a far cry from what people think of as VR.

Ohio University now offers a Virtual Reality and Game Development degree that “will teach students to use emerging technologies like virtual reality and digital games specifically for communication purposes, while emphasizing ethical and social improvements.”

Sure VR headsets may be the future for gaming, and maybe medical training. But honestly, look at what we can do with the technology that exists when we are forced to be creative. 

Virtual escape rooms that uses video streaming and an existing and struggling brick and mortar business hit hard by a pandemic.; is fantastic; it helps to defuse economic harm and provides safe entertainment. 

The success of ‘Bo Burnham: Inside‘ suggests escaping from a room, even if it’s just with a video call is the theme of this decade so far.

Header Image: “Paint brushes, Creative Commons” by Futurilla

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