VR Review: The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience

The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience (SOAE) is a VR program from Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab. SOAE is a Steam-based VR experience aimed at creating awareness and education about how climate change is effecting the world’s oceans. Throughout the experience, users participate in different roles, first learning about the chemistry of ocean acidification, then transitioning to an ocean reef to observe and record its effects on marine life. Overall, the program makes good use of the VR medium.  In each step, users observe environments in a 360 degree field of view and interact with objects, turning the program from a passive listening experience into an active learning one. The SOAE’s strengths include its well-paced use of interactions, which engage users without overwhelming them and promote empathy in learning, as well as its combination of computer graphics with real 360 degree video. It also offers room settings based on scale, which allows users to participate without a full-sized VR space. The program falls a bit short in its immersion, where jerky animations and minor glitches sometimes cause users to repeat actions and reminds players that they are in a computer game.


Watch a walkthrough of the Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience below:

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