ASP gives students a glimpse into the future


Carlos Pioroda and Kendrick Short experiencing VR gaming Night in the basement of the BMU. Photo credit: Daelin Wofford

Ulises Duenas

Experiencing virtual reality (VR) for the first time is a special moment. Whether someone is skeptical or excited going in is up to them, but the initial reaction is usually the same. Even though they’re wearing something over their face, you can tell that their eyes are wide open.

That experience was evident at the Virtual Reality Game Night hosted by AS Productions Thursday.

One of the students attending, Nicholas Gutierrez, was using a VR headset for the first time and he was already very impressed. He was able to comment on his experience while he was in the tutorial.

Chico State student in the midst of a Virtual Reality in the basement of the BMU. Photo credit: Daelin Wofford
Robin Miki at Virtual Gaming night in the BMU. Photo credit: Daelin Wofford

“This is something…it’s so cool,” he said.

The most common barrier for anyone who wants to try VR is the price. On top of the headsets, which are usually expensive, someone would also need a pretty powerful computer in order to run the software without running into technical issues. Daniel Lopez, another attendee, was very excited to hear about an event where he could try VR for free.

“I’ve always wanted to try one, but I never wanted to buy one because they’re expensive,” Lopez said. “So this event right here is pretty much what I’ve been looking for.”

AS Productions has been organizing and promoting events on and near campus to increase student involvement. Justin Torres, the entertainment coordinator for ASP, talked about what a unique opportunity students have to try this stuff out.

Carlos Pioroda and Kendrick Short at the VR gaming night in the basement of the BMU. Photo credit: Daelin Wofford

“We decided to do a virtual reality event just to get students aware of the kind of things that they can use on campus that are literally just getting to us,” Torres said.

Students were using different headsets with different apps. Some were using the Google Maps app to see different locations in VR, while others were in a space setting on the moon. Torres also mentioned that this was just a tester event to gauge student interest.

“President Gayle Hutchinson really loves VR so we’re gonna do one (event) next semester and she definitely wants to come to that one,” Torres said. “That one will have more attendance and a lot more hype.”

Watching everyone enjoying their own experiences in VR was a little surreal. To an outside observer, it was just some people in headsets hanging out in a dark room with some colorful lights spinning around. To them, each one was in a virtual world where they could experience a variety of things at a moment’s notice. It’s good to see Chico State come together around a new and exciting technology, and if everything goes right, then the next event should be bigger and better.

Ulises Duenas can be reached at [email protected] or @OrionUlisesD on Twitter.