In the recently released education VR experience, Breaking Boundaries in Science, users explore the work environments of three amazing female scientists: Marie Curie, Jane Goodall and Grace Hopper.
While I liked the experience, I didn’t love it. The content is interesting, but pretty flat and doesn’t provide a long educational experience. The whole thing feels rushed and unpassionate. However, it’s free and I recommend trying it out, especially if you have no prior knowledge of the fantastic lifes of this three scientists.
In Breaking Boundaries in Science, you immersive yourself into the (empty) work spaces of three influential female scientists. Whether you visit Marie Curie’s lab, Jane Goodall’s camp or Grace Hopper’s basement office, there are interesting things to discover. It’s compatible with GearVR and the Oculus Go.
You move by teleporting yourself to fixed points around the room. At each location, you can pick up or interact with an object. The scientist herself will explain you what that object is and what she used it for. For example, Marie Curie will talk to you about the discovery of Radium when you pick up a test tube. I don’t know who greenlighted the fake French accent for Marie Curie, but it seems unnecessary and overly comical.
As you can see from the screenshots, the 3D art seems like it was made by a low-budget student group rather than something we would expect out of Oculus Studios. After all, isn’t one of the Oculus Studios’ goals to create lighthouse experiences to show what’s possible and set the standard for other developers? Anways, it seems the whole thing was made in a rush and with missing passion.
Each room only has around a dozen interactive points, and each lasts around one to two minutes. Furthermore, I was expecting more variance and more interactivity from this title. The small amount of content combined with the limited types of actions you can take, makes the whole experience a little boring.
On a more positive note, I can see how it can be used in existing classrooms or by parents to make science more fun for kids and mabye spark further interest, which would be a good thing. Also, the experience is free and beggars can’t be choosers :-)
In conclusion, Breaking Boundaries in Science fell short of my expectations but I still recommend giving it a try, especially if you have kids and not a lot of prior knowledge about Curie, Goodall or Hopper.