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Who’s eager for interactive excitement? VR!

Simon P. Couls Jr., information assurance and cyber security, exhibits excitement (and refreshment) in the line.
Simon P. Couls Jr., information assurance and cyber security, exhibits excitement (and refreshment) in the line.
Jack M. Banker, electronics and computer engineering technology, motions wildly as he fights enemies in Superhot VR.
Jack M. Banker, electronics and computer engineering technology, motions wildly as he fights enemies in Superhot VR.
Industrial design student Tyler M. Schmill laughs heartily while slashing through Fruit Ninja VR.
Industrial design student Tyler M. Schmill laughs heartily while slashing through Fruit Ninja VR.
Waiting in line, students clearly enjoy watching the room’s action on a monitor.
Waiting in line, students clearly enjoy watching the room’s action on a monitor.
Engaging in Skyrim VR battle is Anthony Ionata III, an industrial design major, whose repeated "This is so awesome!" was a telling indicator of the studio's reception.
Engaging in Skyrim VR battle is Anthony Ionata III, an industrial design major, whose repeated “This is so awesome!” was a telling indicator of the studio’s reception.

Penn College’s new Virtual Reality Studio was officially opened Thursday afternoon and was an immediate hit, as patrons – animatedly visiting other worlds without leaving campus – lined up in the rear second-floor hallway of Madigan Library for 10-minute sneak peeks. The Office of Instructional Technology, in collaboration with the library, designed and built the studio to allow students, faculty and staff to connect learning, exploring and interacting with information and media in a simulated hands-on environment. “We wanted to lower the barrier of entry to using VR and provide a space where students and faculty can explore and create without having to pay the high price tag of a VR system themselves,” said Tracey Amey, library director. “Health Sciences students can explore what happens to cells as they travel through the body. Engineering students can experience flying into space beside astronauts in a manned space rocket, and gaming and simulation students and faculty have a new 3D environment in which they can create.” The studio is a space for experimenting with realistic and immersive content in a three-dimensional environment experienced or controlled by movement of the body. It is equipped with the HTC Vive Pro VR system, the latest generation of VR technology, and an Alienware Aurora computer to ensure the best in performance and functionality. The VR Studio is also equipped with a 55-inch monitor mounted inside and a 42-inch monitor outside to allow visitors to watch the action. Flyers with QR codes enable visitors “to learn about the equipment, safety instructions and other helpful information” and to “see the Madigan Library Research Guide and learn more about Virtual Reality.” Students can reserve time in one-hour increments at the circulation desk from 3-10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; faculty can book the studio upon request through OIT.