This lesson plan is an easy one to conduct: let your students play with the PlayStation 4 VR suite from the DWRL, and then encourage them to talk about the experience! Sounds simple, right? It is! But the scholarship the lesson produces is anything BUT simple.
Interacting with this lesson allows students to engage with many areas of scholarship. Examples include:
The following lesson plan uses Isbister’s book as an example.
This lesson challenges students to experience something new (Virtual Reality) in order to describe the feelings that are generated by the experience. The goal of this process is to produce a suitable undergraduate paper regarding the rhetorics of digital technologies as they pertain to emotions and social behavior. Students will learn about the concept of being “in flow” (Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi) by studying its 8 dimensions (4,5 Isbinger). Giving a rhetorical reading of the words used to describe the experience of VR, and the dimensions to which the words “belong,” will help the student define how it is that “games move us.”
One to two class periods.
The DWRL Media Station set up in Parlin 102. It is equipped with: 1) A television, 2) an Apple TV, 3) a PlayStation 4, and 4) a PlayStation VR.
Operate the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR
Access and Adaptability
The PlaySation VR is an oddity among ocular-centric wearable devices. It’s a video game system, true. The lesson plan is designed for those who are sighted. However, the PlayStation VR was designed with as many people as possible in mind. Those who wear glasses will not need to take them off in order to use the VR. For more information, read this web article.
This lesson is very simple to conduct. It has three easy steps to it. Step 1: Get your students to engage with the PlayStation VR. Step 2: Talk about the experience. Step 3: Attach that ‘talk’ to academic research.
In-Class or Assignment Instructions
The DWRL has all of the technology needed to conduct this lesson. However, you will still need to know how to work the tech! Below is a video teaching how to situate the VR glasses and earpieces; but it is also necessary to know how to turn on the system.
You will need to turn on both the PS4 AND the PS4VR. To turn on the PS4, simply grab the remote control and press the center button with the PlayStation logo. For the PSVR, it’ll be a little different. There is a black cord that connects the VR to the PS4. On that black cord is a set of buttons (see image above). Press the top button (a circle with a line through part of it) and the headgear starts.
Assessment could be simple, such as awarding points for a participation grade. Or the 3rd step could involve students writing down what they categorize and how. The talk that is generated by using the PSVR will be fruitful, and should be recorded. It can be used to propel a 5-10 page (depending on the requirements for your class) rhetorical analysis regarding the way that games make us feel.