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Trash Rage VR Game Day :: Esport, Education, Environment

by Apr 28, 2019

Environmental Education in Virtual Reality

Trash Rage VR premiered on the 28th of March at the Audiovisual Technology Center in Poland. It was the first VR esport event in Poland, where one could show off his/her VR gaming skills in front of a cheering crowd. Anyone could take part in the event as it was free of charge. Visitors had at their disposal 6 free play VR setups, so that they could hone their Trash Rage gaming skills. Invited speakers gave talks about recycling and about how humans impact nature. Giant Lazer also gave a talk about VR game development. After that the Trash Rage VR Tournament began. The winner of the first prize went home with an Oculus GO and cool ecogadgets.
 
We divided the event into two sessions – the first was for schools and the second evening session was open for all. Almost 350 people visited the event in total.

 

How to educate and entertain?

Trash Rage is a project that shows how to use VR for environmental education. It is also a ready-made formulae, demonstrating how to use VR in schools in general. Trash Rage is a platform for learning about environmental issues for everybody. We take the player to a post-apocalyptic future earth filled with trash and ruled by A.I. powered robots. To win, you have to learn how to sort the garbage! Recycling wasn’t chosen here by accident. “Too much waste”, “plastic pollution” and “trash as new material” are hot topics recently. It is worth talking a closer look at the problem, especially in the classroom.
 
We invited special guests from Ekosystem, Ekolandia.edu and Wrocław ZOO. They give talks about the importance of recycling and how we can protect the planet. The impact of humans on nature is getting greater every day. Our guests showed us ways to make that negative footprint smaller. The final talk of the session was about virtual reality and how we at Giant Lazer make VR games. It was interesting for everyone wanting to work in the gaming or digital arts industry. The talk was a part of our VR/AR Hero initiative. At VR/AR Hero we educate people about technology and teach them how to code their own VR & AR experiences.

 

Education using Virtual Reality

How do we add educational elements to a fast-paced VR arcade game? First we allow the player to experience the core gameplay and simply have fun. Afterwards we introduce educational elements, but still using just the core mechanics. This is especially important in case of users that are trying virtual reality for the first time. When one already gets the hang of the game, then knowledge becomes key to scoring more points.
 
We discussed all educational elements with companies like Ekosystem and Chemeko-System. Further consultations are in progress. Currently the game teaches about the Polish recycling system. The recycling scheme will be customizable in future releases.

 

Trash Rage Tournament

People think of Virtual Reality as a solo experience, but in this sense so is any computer game. At Trash Rage VR Game Day we wanted to prove how VR can be a fun show also for onlookers. We got our inspiration from e-sport events. People gathered at the event could observe contestants on two giant screens. They could cheer their favorite players all the time.
 
For the tournament to take place we had to prepare a special version of Trash Rage. We put up an extra screen to show the leaderboard in real-time. Our host Dr Event motivated the players to do their best. In the final round of the tournament things got really intense. One could see how the contestants became very determined to win and stand on the podium.

Eco-gagdets

Besides learning about recycling and having fun in VR, visitors could win eco prizes. Those prizes included nontoxic candles made from soy wax and VR cardboard googles. The gadget that drew most attention was a reusable bag for fruits and veggies made out of old curtains. Now anyone can fight plastic pollution, even when shopping. All these eco-gagdets are great for anybody who wants to take action in his/her daily life. In other words an easy start to minimizing your negative impact on the environment.

What’s next with Trash Rage?

The positive feedback we got at Trash Rage Game Day motivates us to keep developing the project. It showed us that people want to learn more about virtual reality and also about the environment. We were happy to find out that environmental awareness in our society is growing. People came to our event to learn more tips about leading a sustainable lifestyle.
 
The event received media coverage on several occasions. We appeared on Melo Radio, Radiu Wrocław and Radiu Ram. It was a great opportunity to tell more about the event itself, but also about the Trash Rage project as a whole.
 
From the 26th to the 28th of April we will be at Pyrkon in Poznań. We will be proving that VR and environmental education go hand-in-hand. See you there!

 

Thank you to all supporters

We would like to thank everyone who visited us for their support. Events like this aren’t possible without a community.

We would also like to thank: Chemeko-System, Wyższa Szkoła Bankowa we Wrocławiu, Wrocław ZOO, Pure Color Media, Strefa VR, Into VR, Ekosystem, Ekolandia.edu, Centrum Technologii Audiowizualnych CeTA, Meloradio, Radio Wrocław and Radio RAM.