VR: Today’s New Reality
Today we are finally seeing ideas thought of and promised to us since the beginning of games coming to life. Back in the 80s we had things like the Nintendo Virtual Boy. The promise of immersive VR was never answered, until now. With new devices like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear we are seeing a new frontier in the way games are looked at. Why stop there though? These are whole new worlds that are being unlocked. We all like to look to the future, but let’s look at right now. We have technology that can make you feel natural gut instincts about a virtual world.
I could make this a lengthy blog post about how it feels to interact with VR, but it can’t do it justice. Ask anyone that has actually used it, and they will say the same thing. “It is something that you cannot explain. You can only experience it.” I am lucky enough to have experienced it before. I tried the Oculus Rift, and my ideas on this matter were completely changed. I thought we had another Xbox Kinect, or short-lived video game gimmick. This changes everything. All I can really say is that it feels exactly like you’re in the game. I rode on a virtual roller coaster, and actually felt my stomach drop when it went down the first hill. Sitting in a flimsy computer chair I thought I was on a roller coaster. This type of immersion has unlimited possibilities as technology continues to get better.
One of the issues with VR currently is motion sickness. The brain gets confused when it senses motion, but your body doesn’t feel it. This seems like a problem it would take a long time to fix, but it already has been fixed by some devices. The HTC Vive gives you a virtual headset and a area to actually move around in. When you kneel on the ground to pick something up, your character in the game kneels on the ground and picks something up. It only needs a few more advancements in technology to even give us tactile feel for the things we are doing.
It is easy to look to the future, but virtual reality is something that is already groundbreaking. The price of entry is high currently. It requires a computer that cost over a thousand dollars to run the equipment, and the headset itself runs upwards of $500. This will change with time. Like any technology, they will find cheaper better ways to build it. When the level of entry is lowered we will see a cultural shift that has never happened before.