What does it feel like with a virtual reality experience?
What does it feel like with a virtual reality experience? This is the question answered by the protagonist of an immersive 360-degree gaming experience, told in an article published on Wired, which we take inspiration from for this article.
What does it feel like with a virtual reality experience?
The protagonist of the experience speaks of an involvement so high as to be in some cases, even too much and describes what he experienced in this way:
“At one point I found myself in arms and hovering on a balcony. Below me, the enemies took aim to hit me and I, careful not to fall from the balcony, did my best to defend myself. Only once I finished the level did I realize an obvious thing: I can’t fall from this balcony. Physically, in fact, I am in the living room of my house wearing a virtual reality viewer (specifically, Oculus Quest). At that point, I started walking towards the border of the balcony. Would I have fallen or walked in the air? In this case, the answer was the second, but the most important aspect is another: before I put my feet in the void I hesitated, as if I were not entirely convinced that, in fact, I was not taking any risk. “
It is a classic example of cognitive dissonance caused by an immersive virtual reality experience. In practice, a part of the brain, the more rational one, understands that it is not in danger; the more instinctive one, however, perceives the experience and the sensations deriving as real and on the basis of these reacts. Complex and elaborate mechanisms that deserve a separate study, those concerning the sensory perceptions of our brain with respect to virtual reality. What happens could be briefly described as a normal brain response to an event (of danger in the case described above), since immersive experience has the prerogative to reproduce real scenarios, albeit hypothetical, without giving rise to any feeling of fiction to those who experience it and for this reason the human brain responds by activating itself in a ‘real’ way.
Human sensory perceptions are well known to those who develop game applications in virtual reality and precisely on the basis of their functioning, they aim to create experiences capable of leveraging the protagonist emotionally, activating in him, as much as possible, real emotions. This is the case of the Richie’s Plank Experience game which involves climbing atop a skyscraper and trying to walk in a straight line on a wooden plank that protrudes into the void. If the balance is not maintained, it will fall into the void in free fall. What follows will be a brain and physical activation ‘preparing for the impact’ (eyes will close, limbs will curl and heartbeat will accelerate). These reactions are clearly emphasized during the first immersive virtual reality experiences and will be mitigated with the ‘practice’, even if we repeat that the degree of immersion offered by the latest generation headsets grows exponentially with the developments of technology and we assure you that even novices of virtual reality are often surprised by how immersive a new experience is able to totally involve them. A virtual reality experience can never be fully understood if not experiencing it firsthand. No existing and proven video game technology to date can come close to what virtual reality is capable of proving. What a virtual reality experience adds to the classic game / simulation experience (however detailed this is) is the total lack of barriers, perceptual obstacles, physical and / or perceptive mediations; virtual reality is characterized by an intrinsic characteristic, from which it also takes its name, or the reality that is the virtual space in which you live a direct experience. Unrivaled in any classic video game.
“The level of immersion that is reached is such that, when you take off your helmet, the feeling is to be teleported back to the real world:” Welcome back to your house, all right? “.
What does it feel like with a virtual reality experience? Will virtual reality be the future of video games?
Having made these considerations, one would think that this technology must, necessarily and immediately, have had commercial success, at least among technology and video game enthusiasts. Since its introduction on the market, however, virtual reality and viewers (we refer mainly to the VR viewers developed for videogame by Oculus, owned by Facebook, such as Sony, Htc, Lenovo) necessary for its use, have encountered many difficulties to establish itself among the mass public.
An absurd counter-trend, compared to the exponential growth trend of the classic video games market, which advanced with a + 11% on an annual basis. What was it due to? The hypothetical causes are of various kinds. The main aspect to curb the commercial development of VR hardware was certainly the cost. Today this limit has been largely eliminated, as technological development and its improvement have grown inversely proportional to its market cost, making the viewers accessible to anyone. If the first VR headsets could require an expense ranging between two and three thousand euros for a discrete VR position (considering the fact that the viewers required to be connected to a high-performance computer), today it is possible to install this technology in homes of anyone with an expense halved if not even lower. Let us say, as experts, that in any case we would be dealing with figures that are not at all high if compared to the level of technology we would have and the potential that such an instrument would offer.
In addition to reducing the costs of hardware devices, the constraint that saw them functioning only in association with a computer was also overcome. Many obstacles are rapidly being overcome. The new viewers on the market are more and more often of the stand-alone type: that is, they do not have to be connected to a computer in order to function, considerably reducing the overall costs and also freeing the possibility of movement (no longer being connected to a wire). The best known is probably the Oculus Quest.
What are the commercial forecasts for the virtual reality market?
Between potential and obstacles, what then are the commercial predictions of virtual reality: will it really manage to meet expectations? According to some experts, the improvements to be made are still numerous, so much so that a real boom is not expected if within a few years. The turnover of this sector continues to grow: in 2018 it reached 3.3 billion dollars, + 30% compared to the previous year. Overall, sales of viewers are expected to drop from 4.6 million in 2018 to over 6 million in 2019, with steady growth that should reach 98.4 million by 2023, according to Futuresource Consulting data.
A long and difficult path, as we have often said in our articles, what wants to arrive at the affirmation of virtual reality, but according to what is expected and looking back at the technological and commercial development in recent years, we are sure to say that we are there. The video-gaming market is finally mature like technology. This can only make us say that yes, the future of video games will be virtual reality. We at Visualpro 360 have been working for years in the production of complete VR solutions for business and marketing and through OUR PROJECTS we are witnesses of how much an immersive solution of this level receives feedback from the public that benefits from it.
More or less playful experiences with a variable and customizable degree of immersion and interaction, but always unique, able to involve and with an assured woow effect.
When the playful aspect then mixes with edu projects as in the case of the DA VINCI’S MYSTERIOUS GEARWORKS App, we feel that we are dealing with a potentially infinite technology, where the only limit is fantasy.