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Makeshift reality

Virtual Reality (VR), some might argue, has yet to live up to the hype. Often vaunted as the 'next big thing' in training and education, critics suggest that VR has proven to be expensive, difficult to deploy and may present health issues. However, the concept behind VR - simulation - is a sound and successfully used method of training in many fields of work.

In an interview recently I was asked why I thought that simulation was important for learning and development. My reply was that it prepares us for what will eventually come and for future eventualities. It gets us ready to respond and interact with environments, problems and challenges we have yet to encounter. Simulation orients us and enables us to navigate future scenarios. I can give three examples:

In the UK, Royal Navy recruits new to the topography of nuclear submarines can experience a virtual reality version on their laptops. They can navigate around as if they were in a FPS (First Person Shooter) game, and exp…

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