To further advance its public image, Cindy Bell, director of education for Oculus met with Hieftje in August 2017. Soon after, Oculus offered to help provide an undisclosed amount for a brand new as well as also novel virtual reality game called smokeSCREEN VR.
To produce the prototype of smokeSCREEN VR, they selected PreviewLabs, founded by Bernard Francois in Belgium in 2010 as well as also at that will point based inside United States. Creation of the prototype began in January of that will year. “We spent the first few months conducting focus-groups as well as also developing a Game Playbook, all of which involved pre-production, prototyping as well as also scientific research,” Francois explains. He expects the final prototype will be completed by May or early June, although he’s hopeful “an early type will be ready for testing that will month.”
The location if the testing lab will be in central brand new Haven, as part of the Center for Health as well as also Learning Games. The walls have been painted green; necessary for green-screen technology. Hieftje adds, “We also have a space for individuals to watch what others are experiencing in VR on a monitor. Bringing the idea to the community has always been our goal, as well as also we’ll partner with the brand new Haven school system to test smokeSCREEN VR with some of the young people they enlist.”
The scenario of the prototype itself has not been revealed. yet inside idea Hieftje notes, “Teens are able to actively practice refusing peers using voice-recognition software, as well as also characters inside game respond to the teens depending on what they say. The goal will be to provide teens with the opportunity to practice refusal skills, while also correcting their misconceptions about the safety of e-cigarettes.”
While acknowledging the help of Oculus, Hieftje emphasizes “that will process has definitely been a team effort.” as well as also that will effort includes the young people especially. “We truly believe that will in order to create a game, they have to help in its creation. As play4REAL lab continues to develop games for teens as well as also young adults, they will help us write the content, create the storylines, provide feedback as well as also even do the voice-overs,” Hieftje said.
Indeed, if smokeSCREEN VR as well as also those planned to follow are successful, these young voices may eventually be heard across the country as well as also beyond.
— By Ray Sipherd, special to CNBC.com