Pebble Studios have made adorable history by taking childhood imagination and turning it into a VR experience. Allowing the children to step into a world of their own imagination made real.
The studio interviewed a group of children from Grange Primary school to, in their words, “remember what pure creativity looked like.” The children drew the most fantastical images their minds, unburdened by boring adult stuff like “jobs,” could think of with stand outs being ideas like “candyland” and a multi-coloured, disco loving T-Rex. After the initial interview and drawing session Pebble creators brainstormed how to animate and present the characters in a VR environment and two weeks later brought the children back to present them with an amazing surprise. A brand new virtual experience made from the images and ideas they had created. The video, now on youtube, shows the utter delight of these children being presented with the fruits of their imagination and Pebble Studios’ labour. The project itself can be found on youtube and there is also a 360 video of the end result as well as the original VR version.
Not only was this project truly heart-warming it also has some great implications for the future of VR and Education. In the words of Pebble Creative Director Matt Beveridge: “We’ve had more interest than ever from educational organisations wanting to harness the power of imaginative learning through virtual reality experiences.” On the educational front there has been a warm reception to the project with teacher Emma Aly-Lane saying: “This has been such a fantastic experience for the children, and for me too. I was blown away by their creativeness, fantastic imaginations, and just how articulate they were.” The children themselves could not be reached for comment although given their reactions in the video it is safe to assume that they were also generally pleased with the end result.
This fun little project has demonstrated the ability to engage children with virtual technology. Visual stimulation can be hugely beneficial to a child’s learning process and virtual reality could well lead a new revolution in education. Creating an environment where children could potentially interact with educational material in a whole new way. In addition to this projects like the one undertaken by Pebble studios could allow children to see their imagination brought to life in a way that both children and adults could learn from. The possibilities of VR are numerous and even more so in the field of creating, if it is possible to both engage children and encourage their creativity it is perhaps very likely that we can soon see VR sets being used liberally in classrooms in the near future, although of course it is perhaps best to not be overly hasty in that declaration. After all it is safe to say that there is much more work to be done to make VR fully functional for a classroom environment. No one can deny however that Pebble Studios have definitely shown the potential for VR’s use in the educational environment.
Whether this project heralds the future of education remains to be seen however one regard there can be no doubt. This was an amusing idea with an equally enjoyable result that will be a smile to even the most hardest heart and was clearly a wonderful experience for all involved!