It’s the new big thing!
And if you have a smartphone or are a fan of days out, you will have probably come across it as an idea for a gift or a memorable time with friends, virtual reality.
Once an idea that was seen in the realms of science fiction movies, virtual reality (or VR) is now everywhere, with phone manufacturers designing immersive headsets for users and more companies offering VR days to their patrons.
But what exactly is it all about? How does it work? And can anyone participate in it? In this introductory guide to virtual reality, all these questions and more are answered.
VR 101; what is it?
Computer games are not a new idea and when most people think about virtual reality or attending a virtual reality experience in London, the first thing that they picture is playing an interactive game.
And, when it comes to experience days, that’s pretty much it! But with VR, it is more than just a game; it is about having a 360-degree view of your simulated environment, images and in some instances, being able to physically engage with said environment. It’s also about hearing sounds and feeling that the simulated world you are in is real. And this is why VR is becoming more common in the world of gaming.
Can VR hurt you?
Of course, if you are battling a zombie horde in a VR experience, they cannot hurt you. But many people have concerns that the headsets used to display the VR environment can create health issues long term.
The unanimous consensus from VR designers is that as long as your eyes are fully developed and you are healthy, there should not be an issue with playing VR. However, limited data is surrounding those whose eyes are not fully developed, such as those aged 13 years or younger, so if you are booking an experience for children in this age group, you should talk to the provider and your doctor before attending.
Also, if you have a health issue such as epilepsy, or if you are pregnant, it may be worth conducting more in-depth research into the safety of VR and discussing risks with your doctor; many VR games use strobe lighting, which can trigger a seizure.
VR experiences versus at-home VR headsets
Almost all VR requires a headset and, as always, if you are looking to buy a headset for personal use, the cost of said headset will reflect the quality of the simulated environment.
If you are booking an experience day, the costs will reflect what is included in the entire experience and the graphics etc. that went into the game you are playing.
But, as always, quality varies and overall, if you are new to the world of VR, it may be best to start with an experience day to see how you feel about it with the oversight and help of professionals. A bit like driving a car before you buy it!
This offers you the advantage to ask questions that would also apply to most at-home kits and explore this new area of gaming without putting down a significant quantity of money. So, it’s win-win!