The Unsolvable Problem Holding Back VR Gaming

August 24, 2017

11:30 am

Virtual reality gaming's unsolvable problem is that, by design, it requires gamers to leave reality.

Yes, that is obviously the point, to go to a “virtual” reality, which could be anywhere (the Batcave, outer space, the seventh level of Hell, anywhere). And VR is indeed so immersive that when you go to one of these simulated anywheres you might as well consider yourself absent from actual reality.

But that technologically impressive strength is also it's most glaring flaw…

When you put on a VR headset and add over-ear 7.1 surround sound headphones, you are blocking out (arguably) the two most important senses you have when it comes to being aware of the world around you, which means you are no longer able to be consciously present of the area where your body is located.

This makes even a 30 minute VR gaming session a commitment, demanding one's full attention and consideration — and effectively eliminating all possibility for a more “casual” gaming experience.

Not to mention, as the father of an 18-month-old child, all my gaming sessions have to revolve around his nap schedule.

Half an hour of Breath of the Wild might be no big deal thanks to my Nest camera that alerts me every time my son moves, but strapping myself into my PSVR to take off to a far away land would be as irresponsible as if I had left the house to run a few errands while he was sleeping.

There is no question that VR Gaming is an incredible experience, and because of that it will likely avoid being a passing fad. But it's also such a dramatically different type of gaming experience — both in terms of gameplay and the effort required to participate — that it will likely always stand apart from traditional games, and therefore always be seen as that “cool thing you can do sometimes.”

And if you don't believe me, I've got a Rock Band drum set to sell you…

Read more about advancements in virtual reality at TechCo

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I'm the CTO of TechCo Media. I'm also the founder of Random Nerds. I love writing and talking about, entrepreneurship, technology, and video games. You can follow me on twitter @joecorbett.