Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Thanks to some tech-savvy Overwatch fans, we can all be soldiers now

Thanks to some tech-savvy Overwatch fans, we can all be soldiers now

We’re all soldiers now. Finally, the great Soldier 76’s signature catchphrase means something. We really can all be soldiers now. And it’s all thanks to a group of Korean teenagers and an experiment with virtual reality.

As reported by Akshon Esports, “SADA-WATCH” is an experimental virtual reality console created by South Korean students in a science class that brings the popular multiplayer shooter (which happens to be our friends at Kill Screen’s second favorite game of the year) to VR. Using relatively cheap and efficient resources, the teenagers built an adequate platform for playing Overwatch in VR—one beyond just using a head-mounted display as the screen and playing it in the dizzying, non-360-degree enabling way (which, I admit, I tried with Playstation VR).

tactical visor activated

The SADA-WATCH was constructed using a VR headset, an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) sensor, an arduino chip, a smartphone, a button, a motion detection device, a ball bearing, a computer, and finally, the missing piece to the puzzle: a copy of Overwatch. In particular, the VR Overwatch experiment is constructed to suit the play style of everyone’s favorite daddy, the gun-wielding Soldier 76.

A tactical necessity.
A tactical necessity.

While playing, the player uses a plastic gun to direct and control their shots, can move around within the rig, and can even activate their ultimate ability just as Soldier 76 would: by pressing a button on the headset and thus activating their Tactical Visor. Of course, this entire set-up might be a bit difficult to construct on your own—and is only worthwhile if Soldier 76 is your main (no D.Va mecha building for this science class)—but it’s still a major feat in bringing one of the biggest games of the past few years to the next step of technology.

You can watch a video below of SADA-WATCH in action.

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