Putting players at the heart of the VR design process
Humans are highly adaptive creatures. Our brains exhibit a trait known as neuroplasticity, the phenomenon where our brains can change themselves based on interactions with the environment.
Essentially, our day-to-day lives and the activities we engage in can rewire our brains.
Neuroplasticity is an unconscious response triggered by whatever information our senses take-in. In the most advanced augmented and virtual reality platforms, the unconscious mind can’t distinguish reality from unreality.
As such, AR and VR developers have a responsibility to consider, mitigate or make beneficial use of the effects such immersive experiences can have on the user.
The user experience comes first
For as long as computers have existed, human-computer interactive design has been a very complex and deep area of study. These platforms can be all-encompassing for the end user, and even more so with AR and VR.
When interacting with this tech, users are ‘dialed in.’ They rely on the content creators to ensure that their time is unobtrusive, productive and enjoyable.
People respond well to products that have been designed to enrich or enable more engaging experiences. Intuitive, stimulating design and ease-of-use are crucial components that lie at the heart of all successful technologies.
Take Apple products, for example. Apple uses a combination of different physiological and psychological techniques to ensure their products integrate seamlessly with their users’ lives.
This same initiative is often mirrored in the games industry. Developers spend a lot of time and energy on creating authentic experiences that work in tandem with the brain’s natural responses.
Triggering emotion in gameplay
Developers must carefully consider how to best present content in relation to the functioning of the brain. This is particularly important for those working with today’s VR headsets or with tomorrow’s mass-market, AR-enabled eyewear.
Some developers spend years analyzing human emotion, such as fear, using biometric testing. They gain insights into how people react in certain situations and hone-in on the most effective scare methods in a horror or thriller game.
Of course, we at VU are focused on creating a laid-back and peaceful environment. But still, there are lessons to be learned.
We’ve always taken the stance that VU will be a human-centered experience. Everything we do, from storytelling and world-building to communications and brand identity, has to be forged with a dedication to putting people first. Naturally, looking at human interactivity and what makes us tick is definitely something of interest.
Indeed, this will aid us in creating something that speaks to our users, that they can relate to.