The Importance of Realism in Virtual Reality Training
By Mark Christobal
Simulated training, whether it is in person or in a virtual reality setting, will always have a need to be realistic. The goal is to provide training that mirrors real-life situations and work processes so that trainees can come out with skills that may be hard to teach in traditional classroom settings.
When talking about virtual reality or stepping into a virtual world, realism and believability take a front seat. Taking you out of the physical real world and into a fabricated space can be jarring and your brain naturally wants to ground itself in its new environment. Add in a floor, a couple of work place props, proper lighting, and a goal familiar to you and your workplace. Suddenly, you’re immersed in this digital world. With the groundwork of a believable space set, training within the headset starts to gain real world value. Accurate visual representation paired with actions performed in the workplace adds to the realism of training by mimicking what you may encounter in a real world setting. The training itself becomes equivalent to performing the actions in the field.
Immersion greatly aids in the retention of information by pairing the new information with things that are already familiar. When you are immersed in a world that mimics your workplace, you can see how the training relates to what you would do on a day to day basis. This opens up opportunities for more situational scenarios and experimentation to be able to see the outcomes of when things go well as well as when they don’t. Having the sense of realism and believability in virtual reality ultimately ties things together in a nice package to help trainees walk away with meaningful experiences.