Jesse Schell on the future of VR in Education

Dust or Magic does a great service to the children’s technology development community in putting many of the talks from their events up on YouTube. Recently, I watched a talk by Jesse Schell ( and the bool “The Art of Game Design”) on the future of VR and VR in Education. Here are my notes on that talk:

  • – the coming year will likely see an explosion of VR headsets and systems on the market as companies strive to become the Commodore 64 or Macintosh of VR
  • – there is a lot of interest in VR for “Education”
  • – potential in Education?  obviously suited to geography topics and historical settings and events (although more expensive to develop)
  • – abstract concepts can benefit even more for visualisation and manipulation in VR (cf. Descartes invention of the Cartesian plane)
  • – “SuperChem VR”  in development at Schell Games: learn to identify and use lab equipment in a safe, low cost environment with prompting/help; business model? like KSP (missions in game solved using real science concepts/skills) How faithful is the transfer of skills (if you perform flawlessly in the VR, how do you do in TRW?
  • – AR: still many technical hurdles to be overcome; probably 5 years off from game changers
  • – augmented reality, uses ball and stick model with image recognition in app to access DB/”world of molecules” with detailed info about 150 molecules and lesser info about
  • – Problems: cost, schools are generally late adopters, hygiene concerns, kid concerns (untest effects, smaller heads, different eye dimensions), fragility of equipment
  • – kids LOVE AR/VR because it appeals to their IMAGINATION
  • – anecdote of friend’s 10 year old Googling “why is stainless steel not ferromagnetic”: Schell to kid: “Is that amazing to you?” Kid:”Was it hard living in the age of ignorance?” Depth of learning/understanding vs. personal investment in learning
  • “The Internet let us think with other people’s memories. [VR] will let us see with other people’s eyes.”
  • – (Q&A) importance of human to human eye contact key factor in failure of Google Glass; AR is perfect for kids because not embarassed
  • – (Q&A) therapeutic use: distraction of TV, video games; VR immersion therapy for phobia and trauma; nursing homes VR to avoid tedium; home movies idea of “a moment” vs filming entire life
  • – (Q&A) how to stay connected to others; shared sensorium; how to be AND feel together: VR is isolating (“like reading”); PSVR renders to goggles and screen simultaneously; networked (eye contact with your **avatar**); existing systems blend real world, real time imagery