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A Visit to the Virtual World



Virtual reality, or VR, is a powerful, new technology.

VR software programs are being used in many video games. But others have been developed for education, to train doctors and in military training.

VR gives the people who use it an interactive three-dimensional experience. They can see realistic images and hear sounds that are almost like those one experiences in real life.

Khora Virtual Reality opened earlier this year in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen. It may be the first virtual reality store in the world. It is a place where people can learn about virtual reality and create and play it.

The Greek philosopher Plato used the word “Khora” to describe a place between reality and fantasy.

In the company’s VR game “Cityscape Repairman,” players must operate a huge urban infrastructure. Each person must take care of the city’s roads and public services to continue playing.

Simon Lajboschitz is the CEO of Khora. He says the company’s developers do more than create games.

“We work with artists in New York. We work with psychology. We work with the main city hospital here. We work with dementia. We work with businesses (to) tell (a) new way of telling stories…”

Morten Haulik is the company’s event manager.

“It’s super important to give people the experience of actually walking around in the world, interacting with stuff. It could be the Great Wall of China or the space station or stuff like that, but if you really need to learn something about it, you actually need to see it in real life, and touch it and interact with it."

Lajboschitz says that is what students at the University of Copenhagen experience.

“My favorite thing is showing people virtual reality and then, when they take off the goggles. It’s like, ‘Whoa, I forgot that I was in this space with white walls and with people around me.’ When they realize that they actually forgot that’s my favorite part.”

Clara Lykkegaard is a student at the university.

“I have read about virtual reality before, and I’ve seen others trying it, but I have never tried it myself. And it is a brand new world. It’s so weird because you almost forget where you are.”

Khora’s leaders believe helping students get interested in this technology might persuade some of them to work in the industry, and gain a share of what is expected to be a more than $3 billion market by 2020.

I’m Lucija Millonig.

VOA’s Faiza Elmasry reported this story from Washington. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted the report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

interactive – adj. designed to respond to the actions, commands, etc., of a user

three-dimensional – adj. made in a way that causes an image to appear to be three-dimensional; having or seeming to have length, width and depth

fantasy – n. something that is produced by the imagination; an idea about doing something that is far removed from normal reality

infrastructure – n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region or organization to function properly

dementia – n. a mental illness that causes someone to be unable to think clearly or to understand what is real and what is not real

stuff – n. informal used to refer to something when you do not need to name exactly what it is

goggles – n. special eyeglasses that fit close to your face

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