Stanfords VR Lab Offers Wild Glimpse of the Future

By Steve Rosenbaum

The thing about virtual reality is that it's kind of been around a bit too long. Remember when second life was so darn hot? Well, that was a long time ago.

So, when I was invited to explore the Stanford Human/Virtual Reality Lab, I have to say I was ready to be underwhelmed. The lab is the work of professor Jeremy Bailenson -- and one thing is clear right away, he's spent a ton of Stanford's money on the lab. The Lab's mission is "...to understand the dynamics and implications of interactions among people in immersive virtual reality simulations and other forms of human digital representations in media, communication systems, and games." Which is fancy talk for a simple goal, to explore just where VR might actually make a real difference in our world.

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