The NAS team pulled out all the stops for the Virtual Reality Gaming Experience on Wednesday, 8 March, offering students an opportunity to try out the latest, and most advanced, Virtual Reality technology – the HTC Vive. To celebrate RMIT University’s new Student Portal on Level 7 of Building 10, eager participants were given VR headsets and a set of motion controllers to experience the new tech firsthand. Free NAS-branded lunchboxes and $1 coffees were on offer for all in attendance.

Three booths kitted out with motion capture cameras and HTC Vive headsets featured three different games. A cartoon archery simulator called Longbow had players protecting a castle from invaders by shooting them before they reached the drawbridge. Space Pirate was a fast-paced, futuristic shooter that focused on destroying oncoming spaceships in order to earn high scores. The most popular game was The Brookhaven Experiment, a survival shooter that involved fighting off hoards of zombies, armed with nothing but a handgun and flashlight.

Crowds of students waited in line for each booth as onlookers gathered around to watch the games, anticipating their turn. There was some healthy competition as players aimed for the high score and cheered each other on. Plenty of laughs were had when things didn’t go according to plan – one player ran out of bullets and yelped as the zombies approached.

VR technicians helped participants in and out of their gear efficiently and explained how to use the controls so even the inexperienced could feel confident.

Vince Turcarolo, a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil and Infrastructure) student, seemed thrilled as he walked away from the VR booth.

“This was my first time using VR and I’m really impressed. The space here has been set up really well and [the game] is really accurate to how you’re moving.”

Other students agreed, using the new facilities to study and socialise with peers.


Words by Christie McQualter