Free virtual reality sessions are being offered at the Oswego Public Library. This year, the sessions began on July 1, while the last sessions are on Dec. 16. The sessions run on a two hour pattern. Each hour has two sessions every 30 minutes. The amount of people per-session can vary.
“There will typically be one person per-session. Sometimes we have families come in, and they want to switch-out ,” Brian Waalen, one of the young adult services librarians describes.
The virtual reality activities are split up into two categories: games and experiences. The games range from a slingshot simulator, a bow and arrow simulator, and even a virtual reality version of the popular mobile game Fruit Ninja. The experiences include a deep sea adventure, and even a tour of a museum with famous art pieces.
The headset that is used for the virtual reality experiences is the HTC Vive. For personal use, this headset costs up to $800. This extremely high cost can be troublesome for certain individuals who want the experience.
“ can come in, try it out, and see what they think. I think it’s been really cool because we’ve had a lot of people who haven’t done virtual reality before,” Waalen says. “This was kind of an opportunity for them to try it out, instead of having to commit to purchasing themselves.”
At the event, I observed seventh-grader Logan Smith’s session. He decided to pick the bow and arrow game that was provided. As he was experimenting, Smith seemed to be very engrossed in the world presented to him through the headset.
Whenever Smith would complete a level in the game, he would give sighs of relief. He would also give grunts of frustration whenever he failed a level. To add, right before he would shoot an arrow, he would stretch his arms out as if he was holding an actual bow. Midway through his session, he exclaimed that his arms were getting tired from the bow and arrow formation.
Once the headset was removed from his head, he had a huge smile and his eyes were open wide. From Smith’s reaction, I can conclude that these sessions can be exciting, intense, physically challenging, and a whole lot of fun.
The next sessions are available on Nov. 18, 2018. If you want to sign up for one of these sessions, please visit the Oswego Public Library Event Calendar or call the library at 630-978-1205. If one would like to cancel their session, they would need to make a twenty-four hour cancellation notice.