People against Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR), the very words can sometimes bring images of people experiencing a world that was made exclusively for them. The way VR works is that it uses our five basic senses to make us feel immersed in the game play. Our entire experience comes by way of a combination of our senses. If we were to combine this with gaming, it can offer us an entire different experience and escape from reality. However, this all sounds amazing in writing, but there are problems that are associated with gaming with VR. An article that was published by Andy Kelly(2015), has given out a couple of reasons on why the world isn’t ready for VR and it’s gaming applications. VR is not the future of gaming just yet.

The article itself first gives a very brief history of VR in gaming. Then the author shows a video of people experiencing VR in a game called Alien: Isolation with the oculus rift. The people were frantically screaming when the jump scares in the games were made much more realistic with the headset they were wearing. The author also gives out very critical reviews on the experience of VR in gaming, and these reviews have made me think twice about whether or not VR is the future of gaming. But first the credibility of the author should be examined before taking any of his reviews seriously.

The author is a reporter that works for an organization called VICE, he mostly writes articles about gaming in general, and he seems to be a very critical writer as well as a harsh critic. I doubt that he would have any bias towards VR in gaming because he has only made one article in regards to VR. His sponsor is VICE and they are a very trusted source. I have seen many documentaries that VICE has created, and they seem to be unbiased towards any stance. I also get the feeling that the article(2015) is very unbiased towards VR and gaming in general. So I feel that I can trust and take seriously what the author writes about in his article.

There is a couple of quotes from the author that has made me think twice about VR in gaming. One of them states “The problem is, use the thing(Oculus Rift) for any longer than ten or 20 minutes and you start to feel like you might die. Turns out having a block of plastic lashed tightly to your skull isn’t that comfortable. You start to feel hot, sweaty, and claustrophobic, and the foam cushion around your eyes becomes stifling.”. This quote has made me think that even though if VR could be the future of gaming, people will not be comfortable with a headset around their heads for more than an hour. This will become a problem for VR. I can also relate to this because I can not last for more than 10 minutes with ear buds on my ears because it starts to get uncomfortable. I can only imagine having to wear a headset for 20 minutes, it will make me feel nauseous and claustrophobic. Perhaps in the future we can use a more comfortable headset that will prevent any side effects, but this is mere speculation. As how things stand, the current headsets need a lot more work for it become a stepping stone for the evolution of VR and its future.

Another quote that got my attention is as follows “Then there’s the narrow field of view. In your peripheral vision you can see black borders, which makes you feel like you’re wearing a spacesuit. You do eventually forget about it, but every time your eye catches them, the illusion is shattered.” This is very true, especially considering that VR is supposed to mimic reality in every sense of the word. When we experience reality, there’s nothing that really distracts us from experiencing reality. This should be the same for VR, when we put on a headset, we expect the world we experience to be immersive and without distractions. But the headset that we wear will create a black borderline that will distract us. Removing this borderline will be very difficult because that is exactly how the headset is designed. This is the side effect of wearing the headset, no matter how much we upgrade the games in VR, the headsets will still create a black borderline.

The last quote that also convinced me that VR might not be the future of gaming is this “Games where you’re locked in one position, like sitting in a vehicle, work best — especially with a peripheral like a flight stick or steering wheel. But it’s when you have to use a gamepad or mouse and keyboard to move around that the disconnection between you and your in-game avatar becomes jarring”. This quote is especially true when we experience games that require a gamepad. When we use a gamepad and experience VR at the same time, the gamepad will ruin our immersive experience. No matter how much you are into the game, using the gamepad will remind you that you are just playing a game. Obviously this is true, but people must understand that VR is supposed to make you feel like you are actually experiencing a different reality. This is the very definition of VR. If a game breaks this definition, then the game is not really VR.

This article has changed the way I think about VR in gaming. I don’t think VR is the future of gaming yet, but I believe that VR still needs time to really have that extra push that it needs. I still haven’t given out hope about VR and its many capabilities, but as of how things stand, VR is not the future of gaming yet.

Kelly Andy(2015, Feb 19) “Is Virtual Reality Really the Future of Games” retrieved from: https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/vdpw94/is-virtual-reality-really-the-future-of-video-games-117

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