2016 was supposed to be the year when commercially available virtual reality headsets would have been available across the world. This was expected to be a pivotal event in how we communicated with technology, which is now consuming an increasing amount of our time and has become inextricably linked to our daily lives.
Alfin Toffler wrote, “Future Shock” in 1970, an important prediction that our lives would one day be lived through computer screen exchanges. Many aspects Toffler predicted were right, including the transience of relationships, the prediction that people would become as comfortable with virtual experiences as they would with physical ones, and the prediction that children would be overstimulated. Toffler’s post-industrial society seems to have arrived, but maybe even he could not have predicted the scale, pace, and spread of technological advancement to the point where, in less than 20 minutes and without leaving the sofa, one could buy a week’s worth of groceries, look through a friend’s holiday photos, converse “face-to-face” with a family member on the other side of the world, and watch cosplay. Whether Toffler is regarded as a true visionary or a writer of “pop sociology” whose techno-utopianism is founded on a technologically deterministic view of the future, his fundamental vision of the effect of technology on society appears to be foresighted.
The digital-born youth of today are not only a growing market force for virtual reality, but they are also the technology’s future. With new ways to use immersive technology, younger generations will be early adopters and use virtual reality to shape their future.
Virtual Reality proponents can point out that it has applications beyond sports, as it isn’t just for fun. Beyond being funded by large sums of money, both tech and non-tech companies are adopting virtual reality as a platform and a medium in various fields. There is the potential for effective implementations of this new technology to bring unique value and serve as a bridge for our younger generation’s interaction experiences.
By involving youth in a compelling virtual reality learning environment, they will develop new digital, purposeful skills. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to make the planet a more sustainable and inclusive place for all by encouraging our youth to take the collective action needed to achieve them.
Virtual Reality in Educating Youth
Students can no longer learn about rockets and spaceships; instead, they will be within one. This is part of an attempt to improve education retention and participation. It also means no longer being confined to a four-walled space for hours on end but instead having the freedom to travel across the globe. The majority of a school’s instructional materials will no longer be text-based but will instead focus on learning through simulations and imagery.
The eye-brain system is, in reality, extremely advanced. When we look at the universe, we ingest the equivalent of a billion bits of information per second, equivalent to the text in 1,000 magazine copies. However, we can only read about 100 bits (or characters) per second with our mental “text computer.” In general, virtual reality increases student participation and promotes constructivist learning among our youth.
Nowadays, we see an emergence of VR racing games, where today’s youth get real-time experience sitting in their homes’ comfort. Many have turned gaming into a profession, taking part in VR racing competitions and earning a living out of it. This kind of new-age technological transformation not only encourages youth but also opens job opportunities. Virtual reality is also being used in high-tech parties and events.
Millions of youths worldwide are being empowered to address current obstacles by the change in ideals and access to technology that we have witnessed. When young people band together for their common future, the definition of success is shifting.
Young people today have different goals than past generations. They measure achievement not only in terms of material wealth but also in terms of their ability to quickly obtain resources for themselves and their peers. They are disseminating information through online classes and social media. They are trying to create a world that is more inclusive, sustainable, and just.
They are also the forerunners of digital technologies and will be virtual reality’s customers and its creators. Naturally, young people recognize their ability to solve issues, keep governments accountable, create the world they want to live in, and virtual reality is a fantastic tool for helping them get there.