Vaporizing VR Hardware

Vaporizing VR Hardware (Jerz’s Literacy Weblog)

Last year, my brother-in-law asked me what I would do with a bunch of virtual reality gear his employer had packed in crates in a warehouse.

VR headsets, sensors, software to get them working together, and computers to run them all — enough to fill “a big closet.”

I started seriously thinking about all kinds of things, from working with a facutly member who teaches a mind-and-body class, to perhaps seeing whether the athletics department was interested in using such equipment to get athletes to study their form, or perhaps working with dance students on some kind of VR-ehanced interactive new media project. Thinking about what I might do with this equipment led me to put more effort into Half-Life 2 modding (and I’ve been pleased with the results).

The long and short of it all is that, unfortunately, that company was recently burned for releasing comptuers that contained sensitive client data. They were only willing to release the equipment if the computers were wiped clean. Andy couldn’t find any CDs that contain the required software, and the VR company itself has gone out of business.

I’m sure the right techncial team wouldn’t have any problem hacking something together. But because I don’t have any contact with the CS majors at Seton Hill, and Seton Hill doesn’t have an engineering program, I don’t think the situation looks very hopeful — not with the resources that are available to me, as a generalist (journalism, new media, literature, freshman comp) working at a small liberal arts college.

So I thanked Andy for his time. I know he jumped through a lot of hoops before getting that final answer.

As it happened, when Inform 7 came out last month, pretty much all of the spare time I’d been putting into Half-Life 2 modding got sucked into familairizing myself with Inform.

It’s just a cruel shard of reality working its way into the soft tissues of my dreams.

I’ve already got more enticing leads than I can juggle right now, so in a way maybe I’m like the kid in the candy shop who’s been waiting in a long line at the soda machine only to find that it isn’t working. Yes, there’s momentary disappointment, but then the kid notices that the lines for all sorts of other goodies are actually moving faster.