I have always been interested in VR and I've played around with Google Cardboard but I was not prepared with the huge difference that comes with a real VR headset. My school is investigating ways to use VR in teaching. I knew that I needed to get my own device so that I could really take the time needed to learn about VR.
It's always been my habit when using new tech, to find a way that is meaningful for me personally so that I can really see what the possibilities are. I soon learned from the free sample apps on Oculus that there is a whole world of VR fitness. I started to watch Youtube videos about different apps and decided to start with Beat Saber.
The game took my interest straight away. You get two lightsabers to slash flying blocks in the direction of the arrows on them. The larger your movement, the higher the score will be. It's a rhythm game and it's great to move and slash in time with the music. Watching Youtube I soon learned that there is a way to add songs via a program called BeastSaber. This online community hosts a huge collection of popular songs created by users for playing with Beat Saber. After a bit of working out (and watching a few tutorials) I learned how to set up my Developer account with Oculus, enable that mode on my Oculus app on my iPhone and then add songs via SideQuest and BMBF. The difference in gameplay was huge because now I could choose from hundreds of songs, and many already rated by the Beast Saber community.
Now, I'm not saying here that fitness in VR is something that will be used at school but, who knows right? I see this as a way for me to learn how to use the Oculus and I might even improve my own fitness in the process.
Soooo, I played about 14 games today in Beat Saber and it gave me enough exercise on my Apple watch to close the green exercise ring. What a plus! You might be reading this blog and wondering what's this got to do the education? Everything! I have always learned new tech by playing with it. Learning whilst in 'play mode' helps me to make connections that I might not get if I am too focussed on conquering the new tool.
Here's a video of one YouTuber playing Beat Saber. Maybe I'll learn how to use the green screen to make my own video like this? Maybe I'll learn to make my own Beat Saber map? What's that? It's creating those flying blocks that go along with the song to be played in the app. So many new things to learn! You know, I am starting to make connections as to how VR could be used already. Can't wait to learn more ...