Although current safety procedures may limit your travel plans, VR technology makes it possible to experience some of the benefits of travel from the comfort of your own home.
One advanced piece of innovation that allows you to travel from home is Everest VR. This game simulates what it would feel like to scale the world-famous Mount Everest, complete with specific scenes from the real-world mountain. It involves preparing for your expedition at basecamp, hiking the Khumbu Icefalls, camping overnight, climbing the Hillary Step, and finally conquering the summit. According to the Sólfar website, the game is “designed not as a conventional game but as an accessible experience that focuses on the strengths of VR to transport you to an impossible real-world location.” Once you complete your summit in the game, you unlock God Mode which allows you to view the Himalayas from a vantage point only possible in VR. The game is available through Playstation, Steam, Oculus, and Viveport.
Another VR game through which you can get the experience of travel/exploration is through TheBlu, a deep sea diving game. Although it is structured as a game, this VR experience has earned collaborations with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the National History Museum of Los Angeles. The game is set up as a group of divers going deep into the ocean’s depths to rescue endangered blue whales. But, throughout the journey, you’re able to encounter, interact with, and learn about several species of deep-sea wildlife. This game is available through Oculus, STEAM, Microsoft, Viveport, and Dreamscape.
If you can’t afford the expensive VR equipment and still desire the experience of travel, one great option would be to download Google’s Expeditions App. This app allows you to use your phone, tablet, or VR device to explore historical landmarks around the world. You can take a tour of NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, Eleanor Roosevelt’s ‘Little Village’, Da Vinci’s Inventions, and many more. For all of those teachers out there looking for online learning tools, the app allows you to act as the ‘tour guide’ and take your class through the experience and point out interesting things along the way.