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Increasing Student’s Imagination for Writing with Virtual Reality

May 18, 2016 - Posted toStudying

Content virtual reality and imagination for students

VR for Students as A Way to Increase Imagination for Writing

When they move to a new city or visit a new place, many writers say that they experience a “creativity honeymoon.” The reason for that would be that everything seems so fresh and inspiring that it appears to open your eyes and give you that boost to write. With today’s technology, writing for students has never been easier. As many students draw their imagination from their own experience, every new thing would make them feel immediately interesting and full of questions – as if their brains have suddenly received a new upgrade in their operating system.

Considering that not every student has the ability to go from place to place and country to country since they have classes to attend, they might begin wondering what they could do to bring back that “traveler’s mind.” Their answer comes in the form of virtual reality.

Making You Feel the Present Virtually

VR has appeared since the early 90’s; however, it was only now that it started to become more and more popular among the younger generation. Until recently, they would all wonder what is the difference between virtual reality and the one we see in our daily life.

As a writer, normally, you would write based on your own imagination. Still, you can trust more on what you see than on what you read, and you will need that ‘presence’ to make it work. This is a phenomenon that happens when your brain believes that a certain type of reality is actually tangible – no matter if it’s real or virtual. It doesn’t mean that you will forget about real life, but that you will experience the feeling and the information as if you were already there, in person, to collect it.

But consider this situation: You are a paleontology student, and you have to write a research paper on dinosaurs. You read all the info out of your textbooks and form a pretty good idea; however, there is no feeling, no accuracy. But if you dive into virtual reality and see the Tyrannosaurus Rex attacking you, your brain automatically feels that instant pang of terror and the adrenaline rush. You will be able to describe the dinosaur and the environment more accurately, considering that you have already seen it firsthand. Your own subconscious will actually believe that you were there.

Michael Abrash, the chief science officer at Oculus, claims that VR is similar to the feeling of teleportation. It allows the user to feel “presence,” which is unique to VR – it’s not possible to create this with any other medium. Virtual reality basically allows us to rewrite our perception code, tricking our brain into thinking any activity there is actually happening. If you use virtual reality to experience flying on the back of a dragon in the sky, your brain will definitely recognize that experience as something unique and your ability to write about it will also be much more improved. Virtual reality can improve writing for students for the simple fact that it can bring experience. And experience can give anyone a much better creativity boost than any other book we may read. This is exactly why many professional paper writers travel around the world when they want to write a book – they’re looking for experiences, for new and interesting things to give them new ideas. Virtual reality allows you to do that now from the comfort of your own home (and with less money spent on travel).

Improving Creative Writing with Virtual Reality

Famous writers have also reaped the benefits of VR. This new wave caught the attention of J. K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. She contacted Rob Morgan, a game writer, voice director and narrative designer in the VR domain. Together, they developed “Wonderbook: Book of Spells” where they adapted original Harry Potter material into a virtual presence. Using this, our everyday student was made the center of the game where they could actually experience how it feels to be a student at Hogwarts. They could do spells using the controller as a magic wand, and interact with spell books that could actually further their reading. Now, if virtual reality had the ability to teach students firsthand such impossible looking classes, imagine the good it would do for our students. Seeing is believing – and if students would have the ability to practice more and go through different experiments, their imagination would also benefit from this and their writing ability would also improve.

For example, if geography students were to use virtual reality as a way of “experiencing” their textbooks, it would also show in their paper writings. Seeing a mountain on a page from a textbook is different from seeing and experiencing that exact environment in virtual reality. You would be able to explain it in more detail, with the “traveler’s mind,” since you’ve already seen it. You can see, observe, pay attention to every detail about fauna and flora, which are things you might not actually accurately find in a textbook.

This applies to students aspiring to be writers as well. If the time and setting for your story are in the Middle Ages, you will be able to describe more accurately the places your character goes to. You’ll be able to identify with them much better, and the words will flow much easier considering that you already felt that experience. It’s much simpler to describe what you feel rather than explain what you read or hear.

Virtual reality is going to be a breakthrough for students all around the world, acting as a major imagination boost that will improve their writing. Paper writings will also benefit from this because VR will allow them to experience the knowledge first-hand, with a “traveler’s mind”. As a result, this will definitely end up improving the quality of the text.

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