Google is working to use VR and AR for educational purposes, going as far as planning a virtual laboratory. They hope that it can be used to support or even replace the existing biology or chemistry laboratories. The idea sounds safer than directly experimenting with animals or chemical substances, so I hope this project goes far.
There is already an application that uses augmented reality to study human anatomy. Students don’t need a cadaver to study anatomy because they can see the same body parts as in a cadaver using that AR application. However, they all need to use special eyeglasses to see the different human body parts.
Gamergoat, I think it’s going to take some time if we want to use the games for educational purpose. I can see it working for the young kids or probably teenagers, but college students like in Frogman’s example probably will laugh at the games instead. It’s nice that the virtual reality system itself is versatile enough to be integrated with elements beyond gaming.
I think gaming, in general, pushes the technology beyond its limits. Almost every new game requires a set of hardware that can accommodate the “minimum” requirement to play the game in “optimum” performance. The process can then be transferred to other applications like medical or educational purposes.