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Digital Scholarship & Research Services: Virtual Reality Lab


The Virtual Reality Lab @ ID Weeks Library!

Who can use it?
Any USD faculty, student, or staff member, although the apps currently all focus on the heath and natural sciences.

Where is it located?
ID Weeks Room 102.

Do I need an appointment?
May 2023 hours: By appointment only. Please email

What equipment do you have?
The VR Lab has two HTC Vive Pro headsets connected to two new gaming computers. One set is located on a mobile cart and can be used in ID Weeks Library classrooms.

HTC VIVE Pro Specs, Reviews & Prices | VRlitic 

Virtual Reality: What is it?


Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer technology that places you in a simulated environment. It uses a headset to generate realistic images and sounds, making you feel like you're physical present in the virtual world. In many cases, you can walk around and interact with virtual objects using specialized Touch controllers. Though VR is commonly used for video games, virtual socialization, and 3D films, it has also been applied to countless other fields including education, medical training, and physical therapy.

Virtual Reality Lab Policy and Safety Guidelines


The University of South Dakota Virtual Reality (VR) Lab, and accompanying equipment is available for use by USD faculty, staff and students. Users of the Lab or equipment must comply with all USD and SD Board of Regents policies regarding use of technology. Users are not allowed to download any additional applications or programs onto the VR equipment.  Users are advised that they must take certain safety precautions while using the equipment and/or being present in the lab:


  • Be aware of your surroundings when beginning use and be aware of any tripping hazards, including cables.
  • Make certain the equipment is secured to your body appropriately, including use of any safety straps that will prevent equipment from being thrown or dropped.
  • Stay within delineated boundaries for use.
  • Maintain adequate control and balance of your body at all times.
  • If you feel nausea, dizziness, loss of balance, or discomfort, take the headset off and sit down.
  • Like other gaming products capable of producing flashing visual effects, the VR headset may trigger seizures, fainting or dizziness, even if you have no history of these conditions.
  • Consult your doctor before using the equipment if you have a pre-existing medical condition (e.g. heart ailment, anxiety disorders, or PTSD).
  • Users should advise library staff immediately of any equipment malfunction, damage, or other unsafe condition.  


See below for descriptions of the games/apps currently available at the VR Lab. To suggest a game/app for purchase and/or download, email

Games by Category

Anatomy and Biology:
The Body VR
Journey to the Centre of the Cell
Organon VR Anatomy
Wraith Total Knee Surgery
PST Primary Surgical Treatment
Surgical Simulator
Kellogg's Gut Bacteria Reef
Medical Imaging VR
Lux Sine
The Enlightened League of Bone Builders
The King's Request

Surgical Simulator
Wraith Total Knee Surgery

Empathy & Communication:
Becoming Homeless
A Show of Kindness
Depression Quest
Lie in My Heart
The Book of Distance

Mental Health & Therapy:
Binaural Odyssey
Bridge Trek
Lie in My Heart
Depression Quest
Quit Smoking VR Therapist
Dances with Butterflies

Environment & Sustainability:
The Crystal Reef
Coral Compass
Greenland Melting
Caribou World
The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience

Training and Safety:
Lab Training PPE Edition (CDC)
Lab Training Biosafety Cabinet Edition (CDC)

Fun & Relaxation:
The Enlightened League of Bone Builders and the Osseous Enigma
The Art Theft
Goose Goose Duck
The Marvellous Machine
A Walk in the Woods
Dances with Butterflies

Materials VR
Google Earth
Welcome to Light Fields
Ikea Kitchen
Ikea Pancake Kitchen
Lunar Odyssey
The Lab

See how sounds and shapes help mental health in virtual reality. The aim of Binaural Odyssey is to create and guide the user’s emotions. The virtual world reacts to the eyes of the viewer and creates visual shapes from whichever direction the user looks at.

Conduct clouds of Monarch butterflies in the forests of Mexico.

This basic-level course is designed to enhance laboratory scientists' ability to identify how personal protective equipment (PPE) can help reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous materials, prevent transmission of infectious agents, and demonstrate how to don and doff PPE in the correct order.

Using data from high-resolution electron microscopy we have reconstructed a human breast cancer cell in 3D VR in order to better visualise mechanisms of nanoparticle internalisation and trafficking. These virtual environments allow users to walk on - or inside, a cancer cell, exploring and learning about cellular anatomy and processes.

Practice a total knee replacement surgery in Wraith VR, a revolutionary new virtual reality simulation platform.

A real surgical robot simulation game, observe human organs from the inside of the abdominal cavity, and use various instruments to grasp, cut and clip the organs freely to complete the real operation. Be careful not to bleed. Challenge to complete all levels from simple to difficult

In this immersive virtual reality experience from Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, spend days in the life of someone who can no longer afford a home. Interact with your environment to attempt to save your home and to protect yourself and your belongings as you walk in another’s shoes.

PsychLabVR is a virtual research center that is freely available on Steam. Our first alpha experiment involves simulated social scenes to measure social anxiety. This data will be used to create an empirical foundation for a free, automated intervention to treat social anxiety disorder.

Medicalholodeck is the platform for medical teamwork in virtual reality. Healthcare professionals, students, and non-professionals can view, study and manipulate medical images, dissect virtual cadavers, and explore the human body in extraordinary detail in a fully immersive space.


Do you want to quit smoking? This application can help you to eliminate and erase your taste for a cigarette. Based on the latest knowledge in the field of psychology, neuroscience and hypnotherapy.

Nurture a small pot of succulents that grow in real time. Viridi is a safe haven, a place you can return to for a moment of peace and quiet whenever you need it.

Assume the role of a surgeon during this gamified knee replacement surgery minigame in VR.

Explore and interact with an IKEA Kitchen in Virtual Reality! Walk around freely, open drawers and put your vegetable peelings in the waste sorting station. You can even enjoy the visual impact of different material finishes and experience things from a child’s point of view.

Welcome to the IKEA Virtual Reality kitchen experience, where you can make some virtual pancakes. Our IKEA kitchen specialist will guide you through some of the key aspects of a well-planned kitchen. And look out for the instructions that will help you to prepare those perfect pancakes.

Choose how you feel and perform: Calm, Energy, Pain Relief and Awe. Explore a range of experiences which apply research by neuroscientists and psychologists to induce and augment emotional and cognitive states.

Don your xEMU Spacesuit, explore the Orontius Crater, and Lunar Module in an immersive first-person VR experience with out of this world accuracy and interaction. Follow real-life procedures, launch the Apollo-era Lunar Module, play Space Golf, and experience the moon like never before.

This short adventure game uses your knowledge of the human body and concepts from science, biology, physiology, anatomy, medicine, biomed, nursing, pharmacy, health or exercise science as your weapon! There's no negative if you get a question wrong - so have a go and save the kingdom!!

Change your mind by visiting kaleidoscopic, cathedral-like spaces designed to relax, entrance and enhance.

Face your fear of heights! Bridge Trek provides you with a safe environment to conquer your gephyrophobia or acrophobia in virtual reality. Build your way up from the pillow padded first bridge, to the perilous glass bridge in the sky!

Build Yorick’s skeleton as quickly and accurately as possible, using your hand controllers to pick up the bones and attach them in the correct orientation. Think you know where the humerus goes? What about the ulna? An enigmatic member of the League is watching the proceedings, and there’s a timer, so you need to build swiftly because you’re competing for a coveted spot in the League.

Manipulate vectors with your hands, explore vector addition and cross product. See and feel a double integral of a sinusoidal graph in 3D, a mobius strip and it's normal, and spherical coordinates! Create your own parametrized function and vector field!

LabTrainingVR: Biosafety Edition course enables learners to apply knowledge and practice setting up and working in a biological safety cabinet (BSC) in a virtual laboratory.

The Body VR: Journey Inside a Cell is an educational virtual reality experience that takes the user inside the human body. Travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body. Enter one of the billions of living cells inside our body and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.

Birds high up in the sky, waves rolling in on the shore, the wind blowing through palm trees and plants that grow on your private secluded island all contribute both visually and in sound to a surreal experience that practically makes you feel the ocean breeze.

3D Organon VR Anatomy is an interactive human anatomy application featuring all 15 body systems. You can now learn and teach anatomy with over 12,000 realistic anatomical models/structures sided with quality definitions per body structure and thousands of detailed micro anatomy structures.

MaterialsVR lets you interact with molecular models in Virtual Reality. Add planes to create cross section. See electron density isosurfaces and load your own CHGCAR files.

Greenland’s glaciers are melting faster and faster. To understand why, and what this might mean for the rest of the world, FRONTLINE and NOVA — two of PBS’s flagship series based at WGBH — teamed up with Emblematic Group, X-Rez Studio and Realtra to bring this story to life as never before.

The Kellogg’s Gut Bacteria Reef is an interactive VR experience designed to teach people about gut health. In a world first, we’ve made the invisible visible. Now you can get up close to the organisms and diverse flora that live inside the gut, and learn about the importance of fibre in maintaining this thriving ecosystem.

Google Earth VR lets you explore the world from totally new perspectives in virtual reality. Stroll the streets of Tokyo, soar over the Grand Canyon, or walk around the Eiffel Tower.

The Art Theft by Jay Doherty is an interactive VR narrative that injects 3D drawings created by the user into the unfolding narrative of a reimagined “Mad Libs” experience. Go down a rabbit hole with Butch the Bear, Wesley the Wolf, and Mr. Maple the Goat, who make you feel like you’re on a classic heist.

A Show of Kindness is a three-act VR experience through which the user navigates an unfolding story frozen in time, crafted with meticulous detail by concept artist Peter Chan using a custom build of Tilt Brush.

Welcome to Light Fields. Experience real-world reflections, depth, and translucence like never before in VR. Explore the Gamble House, Mosaic Tile House, and the Space Shuttle Discovery. These navigable stills showcase the emerging technology Google is using to power its next generation of VR.

Goose Goose Duck
Goose, goose, DUCK? A game of social deduction where you and your fellow geese must work together to complete your mission. Keep an eye out for those malicious Mallards and other birds, who have infiltrated your team and will do anything to stop you.

The Marvellous Machine is a fifteen minute narrated journey in VR that lets you explore the inner workings of your mind and experience new perspectives.

There are no monsters to kill, no riddles to solve - it is not that type of game. It is a virtual escape where you can hide from the monotonous daily routine and enjoy the nature. Our project uses the most advanced technologies that allows to create a picture that is as close as possible to reality.

Stanford researchers have produced a virtual underwater ecosystem to allow you to observe firsthand what rocky reefs are expected to look like by the end of the century if we do not curb our CO2 emissions.

Set in the Black Hills of South Dakota, this interactive VR experience takes participants into the subterranean depths of Sanford Research Lab and Wind Cave as they unravel the cosmos from different angles.

In 1935, Yonezo Okita left his home in Japan and began a new life in Canada. Then war and state-sanctioned racism changed everything—he became the enemy. His grandson leads us on an interactive virtual pilgrimage through an emotional geography of immigration and family to recover what was lost.

The Future of Molecular Design - From drug discovery to chemistry class, Nanome is a powerful tool for research and education. Visualize, build, and simulate chemical compounds, proteins, and nucleic acids like never before. Collaborate remotely in real-time.

InMind is a short scientific adventure with arcade elements designed for the Oculus VR. Submerge into the microworld and experience the miracles of the human mind.

Nanoscape VR takes users on a journey to the microscopic world. Explore the surface and interior of a cancer cell, exploring and learning about cellular anatomy and processes.

“Primary surgical treatment” is a virtual simulator, designed for education purposes. By immersing yourself with your pair of Oculus VR Headsets, you can experience the task of treating a wound with many available surgical instruments and help the patient to begin the recovery.

Roughly 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans dissolves into oceans, rivers, and lakes. Stanford scientists have produced a 360-degree virtual underwater ecosystem to provide an up-close look at how coral reefs might appear by the end of the century if emissions aren’t curbed.

This educational game allows to learn about medical imaging, how to localize different regions in the human head.

Noda is a space to build and share 3D mental models – mind maps, storyboards, network or flow diagrams, project plans – to enhance productivity, understanding and awareness.

How would you react to your child's mother ending her own life? Would you make the same choices I made? Would you feel the same regret? How would you support your child through this painful moment of life?

Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment.

Blocks lets you easily create 3D objects in virtual reality, no matter your modelling experience. Using six simple tools, you can bring your applications to life, create a volumetric masterpiece, or simply let your imagination run wild.

This short adventure game uses your knowledge of the human body and concepts from science, biology, physiology, anatomy, medicine, biomed, nursing, pharmacy, health or exercise science as your weapon! There's no negative if you get a question wrong - so have a go and save the kingdom!!

Virtual Patients is a medical simulation game that helps to reinforce core medical skills in a fun and engaging environment.

In partnership with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, USC students harnessed emerging technology to create immersive experiences to illustrate how the climate crisis is affecting habitats across the world.

In this 360 experience, travel to Palau, a small island nation in Micronesia, home to coral reefs that draw visitors from around the globe. See and experience how Palau is adapting to climate change to combat its effects on their reefs and economy.

syGlass software allows you to view your data in virtual reality in its actual 3D or 4D (over time) form. We specialize in presenting the very large data sets generated by modern imaging techniques, so standard image volumes are a snap. Use our tools to quantify your data with enhanced precision, or import results for rapid correction in VR. Our mission is to help scientists explore their data more creatively and understand and communicate their findings more efficiently.

Welcome to The Lab, a compilation of Valve’s room-scale VR experiments set in a pocket universe within Aperture Science. Fix a robot, defend a castle, adopt a mechanical dog, and more.

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