Bayside Students make
own virtual reality game
By Dale Martin
Mateo - In the old days, students have learned
cooperation by working together to construct a
relief map out of paper mache.
high-tech world, however, it takes more that paper
mache to fuel those skills – as one group at Bayside
Middle School for Arts/Creative Technology can
latest episode of "children meet technology,"
those students are finishing a virtual reality
game on which they have spent almost two years
in both an after-school club and in class.
of the project, which will be officially unveiled
June 5, the dozen or so students created a series
of worlds that they took from the concept stage
and developed into a computerized virtual reality
they learned some sophisticated computer applications
along the way on expensive, donated equipment,
the students’ say one of the main lessons came
in working together.
started off kind of rocky, but after a while,
we got into it. We’d figure out what were the
problems we have to solve," said Iosefo Masitalo,
called cooperation, this same quality has been
repackaged for the 21st century and
is now being referred to as cooperative learning
learned by doing. We learned together and we learned
cooperatively," said instructor Ken Sakatani.
kids had to cooperate, think together, visualize,
work with software and develop a whole lot of
project was largely experimental and not without
through donations by Kaiser Electro-Optics Corp.,
Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard and several other technology
firms, the students worked on software that included
Autodesk’s Game Creator, Windows and DOS as well
as with video, laser discs and CD-ROM. One Company
providing assistance went bankrupt, within the
timeframe of the project.
who has fused are and technology into his instruction,
acknowledged virtual reality is not likely to
be replicated in too many classrooms because of
the expenses involved.
he said, " We wanted to model how it would
be done if resources were available. We wanted
to prove that kids could do it."
Black, a virtual reality produce who voluntarily
brokered the project, working with high-tech companies
and the schools procured the equipment, said the
project forced cooperation between companies and
indicated the project may also foster such values
as capitalism for companies looking for new markets.
parents are unlikely to run out and buy a Autodesk
program at $3,500 a pop, its introduction to children
can’t hurt, Black maintained.
how Apple got into the home. Kids were using them
in schools," he said.
that, Black wanted to work with the students,
because, he said, "No kid has ever gone and
designed virtual reality before," in school.
are using computes on the highest end, using visual
and graphics arts, programming. The world becomes
full-size," he said.
Keenan, a computer-savvy adult volunteer in the
project, also said the students gained some sophisticated
gone ahead of me," Keenan said.
virtual reality games have a reputation for promoting
violence, the students took on mythological creation
themes involving fire, wind, earth and water.
found a lot of violent themes, but we’re dealing
with creating the world," said eighth-grader
challenge of their game is to get through a world
and then bring themselves all together.
there is chaos. United there is balance."
liked it because we have the power to chose what
they can do," said Karen Cusguen. "I
never really knew what this was before, but now
I know how to do it."
Mateo County Times, Section B, Tuesday, May 28,