Saving Coral Reefs with VR thanks to Stanford University

VR allows us to experience the longterm impacts of our decisions

free-virtual-reality-education-stanford-oceanIt’s easy to go about our lives. The environment is, for most people, on of those niggling concerns at the back of their minds. When you have bills, stress, and other issues in your life, it’s hard to think about what the oceans are going to look like in a hundred years. That’s where VR comes in. This educational VR experience published by Stanford lets user feel and experience the impacts of our decisions firsthand.

To find out info on how you can download the experience completely free, check out Stanford’s website.

If you don’t have a VR headset, you can still watch this related video and use the tools to look around 360 degrees! This Stanford video about coral reefs for those who don’t want to (or can’t) download the educational experience works in both VR and in normal reality.

 

The Crystal Reef (VR and non-VR)

Your day to day actions have a direct effect – now you can see them

You can really experience the impacts of daily human actions on climate change with this awesome free VR experience. The “Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience” pulls you into heavy traffic, just like we commute in every day. When we are driving to work we don’t really think about how our vehicle influences our environment. From the tailpipes of our cars to the ocean, CO2 is spread. Most of us won’t live to experience the world in one hundred years. VR works as a time machine to transport us into the future, where our children and grandchildren are going to be dealing with the effects of what we do in our lives. That includes the destruction of the natural beauty of coral reefs that they may never get to experience.

This isn’t just a visual experience. There are actual hand controls available to give a tactile response.

That’s what makes it different than other attempts to engage people in environmental consciousness. If you can’t truly feel what is happening, you do not develop the same empathy. Just watching events occur lets us keep a detached opinion. This experience pulls you in. Hopefully, it pulled in the lawmakers and staffers in Congress who were able to experience the VR trip to the oceans.

Stanford leads in the field with its Virtual Human Interaction Lab

Founded by Jeremy Bailenson, the Stanford Virtual Human Interactions lab is built to help us understand how people relate to each other, as well as to viscerally experience education, environmental conservation, empathy, and health. The lab has four brilliant young VR pioneers working together to transform our future. They are the ones responsible for this awesome free VR education experience. Thanks!

Professor Bailenson also has a wide array of research available. We will be reading through it and explaining some of his findings on our site.

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