Ideas of virtual reality (VR) have moved from science fiction into the mainstream over several decades, and it has materialized in recent years as an emerging venue for education. VR is a three-dimensional computer-generated environment, either real-world or imagined, that simulates an intractable sensory experience through the use of specific equipment. VR encompasses a spectrum of definitions from completely immersive virtual reality, when the user is surrounded by stimuli that activate all five senses, to augmented virtual reality, technology that overlays media onto real-world settings. With such a wide range of options, VR is used in many different fields to provide out-of-school learning, training, and research. This entry presents information on the development of VR, its various types, the equipment necessary to experience it, and ...

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