Virtual Reality is About Much More Than Games

Virtual Reality is About Much More Than Games

More often than not, I see people discounting the viability of Virtual Reality as an industry, but it always seems to be about gaming, which is a feature, not the purpose of Virtual Reality technology.

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Oh look a "I wasted money on a set of VR goggles" justification from The escapist. Yeah whatever, when Augment reality headsets become mainstream, VR will be dumped harder and faster than some ramdom hooker.

It's funny that's not even a single mention of AR seeing as it is VR's main competitor. VR is a good spectacle while AR's nuts and bolts are being tweaked.

Yes, my VR visit to the Eiffel Tower would be like 1000x less enjoyable, even if we somehow reach a point where we're able to render real-world things 1:1, because I'd still be missing 4/5 of the senses I'd be using to experience the Tower irl. And no, I'm not counting sound because we're much further away from replicating it perfectly compared to sight

Until we finally have holodeck-level technology perfectly replicating stimulus for all 5 main human senses in 500-something years, VR is -never- going to come even remotely close to experiencing something firsthand.

mad825:
Oh look a "I wasted money on a set of VR goggles" justification from The escapist. Yeah whatever, when Augment reality headsets become mainstream, VR will be dumped harder and faster than some ramdom hooker.

It's funny that's not even a single mention of AR seeing as it is VR's main competitor. VR is a good spectacle while AR's nuts and bolts are being tweaked.

My ramen dinner has less salt than your post. What, does the idea that someone is genuinely enjoying their VR gear cause your genitals to retract into your torso?

AR does not compete with VR any more than the windows in your living room compete with your TV screen. AR isn't going to let you play Doom 3, gliding through virtual corridors, shooting demons, and shitting your trousers. With AR, you will forever be aware of your actual reality, your 1 by 1 meter play space in the corner of a darkened room, in a one bedroom apartment you're paying way too much for. VR replaces your reality with another, and the two only intersect when you stub your toe on the blasted computer desk leg.

AR is the way forward for interfacing. OP thinks VR could be used for interfacing, but I disagree. Every VR interface devised has been less precise than a mouse and keyboard.

I also disagree with OP about experiences. Experiences are the product of our senses, of which we have many. Neither VR nor AR will ever be at the point when you can walk in sunny Paris, feel the food-scented wind tug at your hair, and taste the cuisine. There is presently no conceivable way to have that experience virtually.

So, let's call things what they are. VR is great for games, game-like things, and watching/exploring things. AR is great for... nothing yet, but interfacing is promising.

Funnily enough, I remember thinking that walking simulator type games might be the first faltering steps into VR tourism. Yeah, it's not the real thing, but even if it's not IRL perfect, it's another form of escapism.

There's no doubt that VR has a lot of potential in things other than gaming. The problem as I see it is that everyone heavily invested in it is counting it on being a gaming thing, that it'll become the next big peripheral and sales will be significant.

If it doesn't achieve some level of notoriety in gaming, I fear it will collapse as a platform, just as 3D did. That does suck because despite my own misgivings about it, I do recognize that it can be something special for lots of people and lots of different experiences. Big corporations who invest in these things don't just like to do them in contained, slow-burning way, it's either next-big-thing or bust. And that's a shame.

90sgamer:

I also disagree with OP about experiences. Experiences are the product of our senses, of which we have many. Neither VR nor AR will ever be at the point when you can walk in sunny Paris, feel the food-scented wind tug at your hair, and taste the cuisine. There is presently no conceivable way to have that experience virtually.

I don't know about that, just have the make the jump from projecting shit in front of out eyes to projecting stuff directly into our brains. Certainly not on the table right now, but I wouldn't say 'never'. Full on sensory replacement/manipulation is the inevitable step forward, just a question of when technology enables it.

mad825:
Oh look a "I wasted money on a set of VR goggles" justification from The escapist.

Actually it says in the first paragraph that they didn't pay anything for VR, courtesy of modern marketing.

Which is funny because if reviewers would have had to pay for VR we'd probably see as little opinions as the games for the bloody thing.

Yeah VR might catch on, but right now it's an overpriced paperweight that runs tech demos and headset exclusives like some scummy console manufacturer.

A bride in Europe trying on a wedding dress at a boutique in New York wouldn't need a millisecond response time to trigger inputs. Peering through the lens of the Hubble Telescope into the star-speckled vastness and cosmic lethargy of space, 90fps rendering is a bit of a moot point.

In between your head and your stomach there is an imaginary cork that keeps things down. If you move your head and the picture in front of your eyes doesn't move, or vice versa, that cork gets a little unscrewed. Do that too long and the cork pops. VR sickness is the exact same response as seasickness, and it doesn't do any good telling people it's all in their head, because duh.

VR has taken as long as it has to come back from the early 90's prototypes, because unless you have that kind of horsepower and display technology it's only good as a replacement for ipecac.

I'm just waiting for VR 360 videos shot in full 3D. Right now, the current offerings are neat and all but without that depth of field it's simply images projected onto a globe rather than a screen, equally as flat and uninteresting, especially with so many of them being documentaries, like a clip from some far off story on HBO's VICE.

 

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