The Virtual Reality Lab
In this collaboration between Penn and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), students will work with with curators to create virtual reality projects connected to the museum's collections. This course mixes virtual reality theory, history, and practice. We will read a wide range of scholarship, manifestoes, and memoirs that examine virtual reality and other immersive technologies, stretching from the 18th century to today. We will explore virtual reality projects, including narrative and documentary films, commercial applications, and games. We will work with many different virtual reality systems. And we will learn the basics of creating virtual reality, making fully immersive 3-D, 360-degree films with geospatial soundscapes. Finally, we will take what we have learned out of the classroom, working with the Philadelphia Museum of Art curators to create virtual realty experiences based around the museum's objects and exhibits. Students will gain an understanding of the unique approaches needed to appeal to museum visitors in a public setting, so we can make viable experiences for them. No previous knowledge of VR or experience is necessary.