VR - Is it really going to be a success? Or, thanks Time for starting a discussion!

Yes the oculus is neat. The vive is something else.

What little interest the general public had in VR, that Time magazine cover will pretty much kill it.

I’ve become more interested in using multi-monitors or ultra-wide monitors. That makes gaming immersive AND you have awareness of your surroundings.

What you say is very true but being immersed and NOT aware of your surroundings is also part of the draw, for other people. I don’t want to be in my office chair with a stack of papers, a dog toy, and a cereal bowl I need to bring back to the kitchen when I’m flying my spaceship. I want to be IN my spaceship.

I haven’t been keeping up, so I Googled what that difference was. The Vive still has the problem of not truly being able to communicate the experience, but, I have to say, it does sound pretty cool.

Heh. From that same article.


I’ve written about my experience with the Vive here. Honestly, big screens that surround you have nothing on that experience. It’s an entirely different thing.

If you walk through what should be a solid object on a normal screen, nothing will happen. If you do the same with VR glasses, you will feel pretty weird because your body is signaling that something’s happening that shouldn’t be happening. I remember trying the race demo way back on Rift DK1 for the first time. When the car hit the corner, all my senses told me to brace for the centripetal force - and it was even more strange when the car turned and nothing happened due to the disconnect of the experience and the actual physics.

Experiencing something with VR goggles vs. surrounding yourself with screens and even using 3D glasses is really an entirely different thing. It’s not (just) about awareness, it’s also about the general sensation of the experience.

So if people are worried about the health affects of having screens that close to your eyes, how about the one that infrared-beams the visual info directly into the back of your eyeball? jesus.

I don’t know why I thought of this, but the sex application of VR could almost work right now. If two people each wear a VR headset, they could have POV sex with a fantasy image while having sex with an actual person. Not a perfect solution, but a workable first step. I guess it wouldn’t even have to be both, particularly for a money transaction.

Kemper’s Butter Face Whorehouse.

Speaking of other applications, when I was writing my MS thesis, what I really wanted but couldn’t have at the time was to be able to have an infinite desktop with 37* PDFs, excell, and R windows open at once at full letter page size where I could pull back and switch my focus between them by occular gestures while keeping a word document open and in focus at all times. I think that would be doable with Occulus, and I wouldn’t have cared how dumb I looked.

Some type of business application will end up being the killer app for VR.

i.e. arbitrarily many

That would almost be a Matrix-style office environment, but it would beat the hell out of multiple monitors.

This is starting to get kind of freaky to think about. If everyone had VR headsets on, you could create a virtual office with avatars to represent all of the employees. You would never have to take the sets off while you were at work (if you even went into work at all).

You missed one I think. (Although I skimmed your text wall because I only have 40 years to live.) Depth perception would be a big deal for third person games like Dark Souls. Some people care about timing rolls under swords and whatever. Head tracking might be used to look left to see your map or journal, and right to your inventory or whatever, rather than for pure first person views of your surroundings.

If you want it to look better, you have to deal with the fact it’s the literal manifestation of ‘faceless’, or blank eyed or blank faced. Put comedy eyes on it, or stripes, or a logo. Anything but something that makes human eyes featureless. That kicks of all kinds of bad associations in the hindbrain.

Oooh, didn’t a game actually have a detective character do that sort of? Heavy Rain? It’s fuzzy, but I swear there was like virtual files and folders being swiped through and examined.

It would be disappointing if your virtual 3d world was where you kept your 2d representations of data. Unless your thesis was on shadows. Or really thin people.

Yep. The ridiculously-accented Norman Jayden had his Minority Report-style VR workspace that you used a couple of times. (IIRC he was also addicted to some kind of drug that made this possible/better, but I don’t remember exactly.)

I think this is actually a fun idea. I would be happy to actually try this out in a real office environment.

Warren Spector also had something to say about this back in June.

It’s the impact of VR on normal non-game-obsessed humans I’m thinking of when I say VR is a fad. It wouldn’t surprise me if the whole VR thing went away completely. But it would be equally unsurprising if a small group of dedicated geeks who already play games alone or online kept VR going as a niche peripheral, making some money for a handful of VR hardware companies for some time to come.

And then we have VR. It was proclaimed as The Future in the 1980s. The New York Times and other mainstream media waxed rhapsodic about it at the time. VR was The Future in the 1990s. It skipped a decade and is now The Future in the 2010s. Yes, optics and head-tracking are getting better. But fundamental problems with the technology still exist that exist well outside the technological advances we’ve seen – headsets that isolate rather than pull people together, can’t be called fashion statements and cause nausea in many users… These are still with us and likely to stay with us. They’re fundamental elements of the experience and they have minimized the impact of VR each time someone gets a burr up their butt about taking the first step toward the holodeck and tries to commercialize it.

As a consumer, I’m torn. I’ll probably buy some sort of VR gear when I can because I’m affluent enough and enough of a geek to be intrigued by new tech, cool content and potential new futures. The question is, am I anti-social enough not to worry too much about isolation from the world or how I look to anyone observing me wearing a goofy headset? Probably, but I’m still wrestling with that.

I don’t think the technology is quite there yet, for all the reasons previously listed in this thread - Too bulky, no movement, looks dorky (This matters!) and rather expensive as well. When its the size of a pair of glasses, or can be used with a jack-in directly into the head or something like that, then it will take off!

I still remember the descriptions of the BTL (Better Than Life) chips from Shadowrun, and the BTL junkies lying around, lost in their own dreamworld of choice. THAT is what could happen, once this gets good enough as well.

Without having tried any yet, I do have two main concerns about VR goggles.

  1. Someone once said in a comment, “I love riding in a roller coaster but I wouldn’t want to do it all day.” I’m one of those type of guys that can’t wear big headphones for too long before I just NEED to rip them off and feel the naturals sounds of the world. After a while I just feel like being inside a cheese dome. I fear that will be even worse with VR goggles blocking off both sight and hearing. Playing a game for hours on end? I’m not sure I can see that happening.

  2. I don’t think I would be comfortable blocking off those senses for too long not knowing what is going on around me. Someone could easily sneak up on me and pour a bucket of ice water down on me without me realizing anything before it actually happened. I imagine a lot of practical jokes going on around this device. Not to speak of if something happens that need your attention and smelling it isn’t enough to get it. But let’s say you know you have to pay attention to something periodically and make a habit of taking off the goggles here and there to check up on it. Wouldn’t that hurt the immersion a lot, i.e. more than it would when gaming on a normal screen?

Wow, this thread is full of some abject nonsense. I can’t believe some of the deadly serious concerns here that are sure to tank VR (again)!

[li]It’s not fashionable - I’m not fashionable either.[/li][li]It will destroy my vision guaranteed, worst idea ever - where’s the evidence for this? I thought the damaging effects of screens is in the same realm as ‘TV makes your eyes go square’ these days.[/li][li]It’s unrealistically trying to do genres beyond those that I deem suitable - it’s an experimental new frontier of game dev, it will require exciting iteration in many different genres, and I’m looking forward to sampling that.[/li][li]It’s mildly inconvenient - so’s getting out a flight stick, or a steering wheel. VR headset is less inconvenient than those, like putting on a TrackIR hat.[/li][li]The Time magazine cover will kill it for the general public - by the time the experience is good enough for the general public that cover will be long forgotten. How many of these ‘general public’ read Time anyway? Maybe when Palmer gets a badly photoshopped cover in People magazine … or The Watchtower.[/li][li]Multiple monitors are just as immersive - no. Obviously hasn’t tried Elite Dangerous in VR.[/li][li]No desire to play for hours on end wearing a headset - so don’t, I have no desire to play normal games for hours on end either.[/li][li]Scared of pranks - anyone pouring a bucket of water over your computer shouldn’t be your friend anyway.[/li][li]VR immersion is worse than a screen because you might want to regularly take it off to check something - camera pass-through, so no need to take it off… This argument that something can be so immersive that any interruption is so incredibly jarring that you are better off with something less immersive in the first place to avoid the jar, is crazy. There’s little difference between looking away from the monitors and taking off the headset, beyond the inconvenience of having to put the headset back on.[/li][/ul]

Seriously though, VR is not going mainstream just yet, and not for quite a while. I don’t think anyone really thinks it is. Facebook’s roadmap to make this a social platform is for some years in the future. It is niche, and will appeal to a subset of existing game aficionados with fast PCs and an interest in the sim side. I think we are at a sweet convergence spot now of tech, price, and developer interest such that it will at least be worthwhile for that subset I currently find myself in. :)

Come to think of it, my optician is always telling me that when I work with screens all day, it’s important that I look away every fifteen minutes and focus on something in the far background to not tire my eyes or whatever. With VR, although the screens are sitting inches away from your eyes, does the stereo effect fool your eyes into focusing in the distance? Similar to how you have to ‘look past’ an autostereogram?