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Unveiling Cultural Heritage: The Narrative Hand Gestures Game at NUST Career Fair 2024

Robert Hihangwapo and Tjihimise Kaunatjike, interns under the Faculty of Computing and Informatics demoed the Narrative Hand Gestures game in the VR at the NUST CAREER FAIR 2024. In partnership with the Ju/’Hoansi community in Namibia, we've created a gesture-controlled VR application based on a traditional hunting story. Developed using Unity, users navigate through interactive scenes, engaging with objects and NPCs through hand gestures.

Community members contributed to the design for cultural authenticity. Validation by community youth and elders ensured cultural representation and narrative immersion. This VR experience preserves and shares the rich cultural heritage of the Ju/’Hoansi people.

The atmosphere was electric as curious students and enthusiastic corporate professionals gathered around our booth, eager to experience the immersive world we had crafted.

As the learners approached, their eyes widened with wonder at the sight of the Oculus Quest 2 headset. It was a joyous moment to witness their excitement as we introduced them to the marvels of Virtual Reality. Guiding them through the interactive narrative, we watched with delight as their faces lit up with awe and fascination with each hand gesture they made, interacting with the virtual environment.

But it wasn't just the students who were captivated by our project. Corporate attendees were equally intrigued by the innovative use of technology and the cultural significance behind the VR experience. They too tried the headset, immersing themselves in the rich narrative incorporated with the traditional hunting story of the Ju/’Hoansi community.

Our collaboration with the Ju/’Hoansi community in Namibia was a cornerstone of our project's success. By incorporating their cultural insights and contributions, we ensured authenticity and respect for their heritage. The validation process, involving both youth and elders, further solidified our commitment to cultural representation and narrative immersion.

Overall, our experience at the NUST Career Fair was nothing short of exciting. It was a privilege to share our passion for Virtual Reality with the next generation and to witness the genuine interest and engagement from both students and professionals alike. Through our project, we not only showcased technological innovation but also celebrated and preserved the rich cultural heritage of the Ju/’Hoansi people, leaving a lasting impact on all who experienced our VR narrative.

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