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Published on March 1st, 2016 | by Kingy

What can Virtual Reality bring to the table

Virtual reality has been on the rise ever since the Oculus Rift was announced on kick starter in 2011, there has been a VR arms race from all the major players you would expect. Sony has PlayStation VR formerly “Project Morpheus” ,which personally speaking is a much cooler name. Valve and HTC are in a joint partnership with the HTC Vive. And of course we can’t forget which device started this whole trend; the Oculus Rift.

But what does this mean for the games industry, it’s the biggest development in gaming tech since motion controls, but has the possibility of being more than just a gimmick. The ushering of this new technology will change the way people will experience games and how game designers create games.

Immersion is a very important factor in increasing a players engagement with a game. If they aren’t enchanted or consumed by an experience they will slowly but surely lose interest. Now of course, fully immersive experiences are already at a disadvantage because of the simple fact your play experience is happening on a TV or monitor in front of you. Doesn’t help a whole lot in terms of immersing the player in a exciting new world.

But it will only take you a moment to realise the possibilities that are available with virtual reality. The player is no longer watching what is happening in front of him; but rather they are surrounded by their ‘new’ reality. The only thing they can see is the game world, where objects have depth, distances seem far away and imminent dangers feel life threatening.

Their are a number of social issues surrounding this technology. Various sci-fi films have explored the various challenges and social changes this tech could make. Remember hearing stories of World of Warcraft players dying after playing for several days without rest. It’s quite possible you’ll hear more stories along the same lines early 2016 when these headsets eventually launch.

But enough concerning the possible doom and gloom of society. Better to focus on the game play and narrative possibilities that this tech can offer to veteran gamers. Honestly, I’m much more excited about the possibilities outside of the games industry. People are already experimenting possible uses within the medical field, as well as the military. And imagine if ‘VR tickets’ to a concert became a thing; all of this is on the table. I just can’t wait much longer to finally get my hands on one of these devices, one of these days lets hope so.

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