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ADSCAPE 2016-Storytelling with Virtual Reality
By Thomas Dindinger
The emerging technology of virtual reality was a new workshop offered at Adscape, a career-exploration event that made its way to Radford University’s campus on Thursday, Oct. 27.
Nearly 90 high-school students from the Roanoke and New River valleys poured into the School of Communication to learn about the field of advertising from professionals in graphic design, marketing, management, video production, digital media, social media, and more. Adscape is in its third year. Each student attended a lunch program and two of seven different workshops.
As students checked in, they each received a sling bag filled with items for the conference, including a kit that allowed them to assemble their own cardboard virtual-reality goggles for use with a smart phone. A team from Blacksburg-based GoJourni helped guide them through the process and talked about storytelling with virtual reality.
GoJourni’s team includes Richard Hammer, Adeshola Oke-Bello, Ari Goldberg, and Matei Canavra. Their company places 360 degrees cameras around the world, allowing users to experience through virtual reality headsets adventures they might never get to experience in person.
Hammer spoke about what it is like to see places around the world in the virtual realm.
“If you have never used a VR headset before, you wont be disappointed when you do. With the help of our 360 cameras, you get the chance to experience places anywhere in the world, without actually being there.”
During this event the speakers explained the different outlets for virtual reality.
“Companies can use it for business meetings, the military uses it for real-life training, movie production companies are looking into it for filming, and as far as video games go, the possibilities are endless,” Hammer said.
Video game companies are ahead of the game with virtual reality. There are multiple platforms and games that allow players to virtually be in the game. One popular title is Minecraft. With VR headsets you can actually be your character in the world of Minecraft while building and exploring from a new, virtual perspective.
After the presentation this reporter asked Hammer what he thought about VR and its applications with journalism.
“I think that it could be a game changer for fields like journalism. News stations could supply their journalists with the equipment and then they would be able to host things like budget meetings regardless of everyone’s location. The reporters themselves could cover events without actually traveling there.”
Lower travel expenses might mean funding for VR equipment, he said.
Hammer said the opportunities for virtual reality are endless. For now, the technology continues to evolve, and new doors will open with each new development.