If you love playing games the arrival of Virtual Reality is something that promises to take the experience to a whole new level. What is more it is already happening and by 2020 - just three years from now - it is thought the Virtual Reality market could be worth up to $30 billion with 500 million headsets sold by 2025. It’s a "Brave New World", just not quite like the one depicted by Aldous Huxley in the classic 1930s novel.
It was in the 1930s that Virtual Reality was first envisaged, when Stanley G Weinbaum, the American science fiction writer perhaps best known for "A Martian Odyssey", wrote the short story, "Pygmalion’s Spectacles". In more recent times it has also broke into the mainstream in various movies, such as cult classic "The Lawnmower Man" (1982), "Total Recall" (1990 and a subsequent re-make in 2012) and 1999's "The Matrix", the latter spawning two sequels, an online role-playing game and according to reports in recent months, possibly some sort of re-boot in the not-to-distant future. It is all very exciting from a gaming point of view and amazing when you think how far the computer game industry has come since the days of Pong, Space Invaders, Frogger, Pac man and Donkey Kong in the 1970s/1980s.
With virtual reality you will be able to take a Virtual Tour of places around the world playing games where ever you want, while still being at home, and even taking a Virtual tour of the past…
You could witnessing the transformation of different technologies, and also get to try them out, perhaps sampling a slot machine from the late 1800s right through to the present day: you’d be able to see how they have evolved and play them at the same time too – how cool is that?
You will also be able to explore fictional worlds and experience things impossible in 'real life' - you could battle zombies from hit-TV show "The Walking Dead", ride dragons from another equally popular TV show "Game of Thrones" or participate in battles from "Rogue One – a Star Wars Story", immersive gaming at its very best.
There are of course problems though with Virtual Reality with some people suffering with motion sickness – dubbed 'VR sickness', although it is believed a lot of the problems can be solved with less lag between load time, at least according to Professor John F. Golding, a specialist in motion sickness based in science and technology faculty at the University of Westminster, London.
Another real barrier is that the costs associated with it are also still quite high. Indeed tethered head-sets – such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR - retail for upwards of $400. Mobile devices are cheaper – around $80 – but the visuals aren’t nearly as good and critically as they are running on a phone, they are no match for a head-set run either with a computer or a game console.
Some also worry that people may become addicted to Virtual Reality and end up wanting to spend more time there then in the real world.
Still it is clear Virtual Reality is here to stay in one form or another and will take you and your gaming to a whole new level – or should that be to a whole new world.
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