Bernie Yee, a developer for the virtual reality (VR) company Oculus, recently visited MFA Visual Narrative to demonstrate and discuss the new Oculus Rift Crescent Bay headset system, which thrusts participants into interactive, immersive environments. The five-minute sequence Yee presented contained a myriad of distinct spaces to explore, including an alien moon, a city rooftop and a cartoon forest. Many of the students who tried the system could barely contain their excitement—or fear—when it came to a Jurassic Park-esque scene featuring a lifelike Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The numerous possibilities in applying VR technology to art resonated with Yee’s SVA audience. MFA Visual Narrative Chair Nathan Fox said: “I’ve been interested in virtual reality’s potential as a storytelling tool for a couple of years now. Bernie showed us the latest rev of pre-production hardware and everyone was blown away. I think it’s important that our students get a peek at what’s coming. A lot of people think VR is the future and, from what I’ve seen, they may be right!”
Photo by Marcelo Rivera-Figueroa.