Issue: SDSU joins the metaverse

Issue%3A+SDSU+joins+the+metaverse

Editorial Board

South Dakota State University has been selected as one of seven “metaversities” by VictoryXR, the global leader in metaverse education with active partner Meta. If you feel like you’re getting deja vu reading this, it may be because we have already drilled into the ground the confusing and new idea of Mark Zuckerberg’s augmented wet dream.

Many can attest to the fact that learning over Zoom has its many, many disadvantages. The inability to interact in an in-person setting can be aggravating and tedious if professors and teachers have technical difficulties. Despite the complete detachment from an in-person educational environment that dawned upon many during the early pandemic days, there was also some good that came from online school.

Accessibility-wise, Zoom allowed for those with auditory-processing difficulties to follow along with live-transcripts. Zoom also made it easier for professors to record meetings and lectures so students could rewatch moments they didn’t quite catch. The advantage that came with Zoom may very well be a disadvantage in the metaversity universe.

It has been reported that SDSU will receive 50 Meta Quest 2 headsets for students this fall. The university will have a virtual twin [an exact replica] of our beloved campus, greens and all. 

“The partnership with VictoryXR and Meta will allow SDSU to offer courses in the metaverse and become an institution at the forefront of VR in education. SDSU will have our beautiful campus green, the Coughlin Campanile and numerous SDSU buildings and labs built to spec in the metaverse. These spaces will be available for multiple courses to have VR classes and labs starting in August,” Greg Heiberger, an assistant professor and the College of Natural Sciences’ associate dean for academics and student success, said to [email protected]

With a limited number of headsets and a large number of students, how will the virtual campus be used to its full potential? Will more headsets be sent in? Will headsets be worked into students’ General Activity Fees in the future? Will VR course costs differ from in-person costs?

This opportunity is one small, virtual-step for digital avatar man, and one giant, unsure leap for actual mankind.