World’s Greatest Teacher Delivers VR Math Lesson In Half-Life: Alyx

Not even an alien invasion can stop this teacher from educating his class. 

Half-Life: Alyx offers plenty of incredible moments throughout its roughly 10-15 hour campaign. Exciting gunfights, creepy subterranean exploration, unique puzzles sequences, and the list goes on. Surprisingly, however, all players seem to care about is a dirty window and set of markers.

Without giving away any spoilers, very early on in the game players find themselves in a rundown greenhouse perched atop a rooftop in City 17. On one of the ledges lie an eraser and several markers which players can use to write on the glass of the greenhouse. It’s a small addition, one that’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. Regardless, these markers have proven to be surprisingly popular among day one players, who’ve already begun sharing their, uhm, “works of art”. 

One player took a more proactive approach, however, using Half-Life: Alyx to deliver a remote math lesson to his students. In a video posted to YouTube entitled “Let’s Play: Angle Vocabulary Review (in Half-Life: Alyx)”, user Charles Coomber guides viewers through a roughly 15-minute review of Angle Vocabulary, using the markers to help illustrate his lesson on the dirty windows. According to the description, the video is part of an ongoing program referred to as “Homeschooling Week”, no doubt a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Obviously there are far better ways of delivering a class in VR. Numerous headset providers have been teaming up with various learning platforms to provide remote education during this global lockdown. However, few of these options, if any, are capable of capturing the attention of younger students as well as recognizable names such as Half-Life. I almost sat through the whole lesson myself, and I absolutely detest math. Then again, that’s probably because I’m terrible at it, but my point still stands.

Half-Life: Alyx is available now on all SteamVR compatible devices for $59.99. As more players continue to get their hands on Valve’s incredible action-adventure experience, I’m sure we’ll be seeing plenty more dirty window art over the coming days.

Feature Image Credit: Charles Coomber, Valve Corp.

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