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The United States Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, found that travel limitations, such as cost, had hindered their ability to recruit all potential cadets and wanted to find an effective recruitment method that would eliminate any inconvenience to these potential cadets or their families. The United States Air Force Academy researched virtual campus tours and found that they wanted more than a website with pictures and videos, but rather wanted to provide a truly immersive virtual campus tour experience.
USAFA found that a metaverse could offer the ability to have a 3D virtual campus where potential cadets could walk around and learn about the culture, size, and beauty of the campus by being an avatar. However, after their research, they found that commercial and open-source client-based platforms that exist are quite cumbersome for novice users and have a large learning curve.
Designing Digitally, Inc. decided the best solution for this Virtual Word campus tour would be to build a completely customized metaverse created as a browser-based multiplayer learning experience. Rather than customizing the project to meet the requirements of a specific gaming platform, the platform was customized to meet the requirements of the web-based immersive experience. This fully immersive 3D virtual reality learning campus allows students to access quickly and easily with a URL through any major browser.
Potential cadets have the ability to tour the campus on their own, and can also attend individual or group tours with an admissions representative who is able to showcase all of the Academy’s features. Clues, trivia, and non-playing characters provide additional information about all the Academy has to offer. Interactive games such as basketball, hockey, parachute, flight simulator, and more offer a fun and engaging medium to keep cadets coming back to learn more. Points from trivia and games allow for the purchase of USAFA branded virtual apparel and accessories, including the top prize - the mascot uniform.
Cadets are able to access the application quickly and easily through the virtual campus tour once they have decided USAFA is the right place for them.