The Next Step for Immersion in Video Games: VR
For as long as video games have been around, there has been a never-ending quest to get people immersed in that world. Some people don’t want to just play their games, they want to live them and escape into another world where they create the story and become the hero. For some gamers, immersion comes from world building and great characters. For others, the power to become greater than themselves is the immersive factor. But for most people, all they need are incredible landscapes and immersive sounds and music to make them feel like they’ve entered a world. Immersion in the game has always been limited, however, as we play games on screens and with controllers. There’s always been a bit of separation between humans and the worlds that we play in. We can roleplay, use mods, and attempt to make the game as lifelike as possible, but we’re still an outsider looking in on the virtual world.
Immersion with VR
With virtual reality, there is no more separation or boundaries at all. We become the hero and the world becomes our reality. Imagine walking through the landscapes of Skyrim able to move as your character does and feel everything surround you. What if you were actually running for your life as the laser fire of a fallout 4 super mutant peppered your heels? Imagine going through the forest vr edition, working hard as you build your shelter during the day and leaping at every shadow at night. Virtual reality does all this and more, and it truly surrounds you in a massive open world. You can’t just turn around and see the comforting walls of your home anymore. When you put on your headset, you are truly in the game, until you take it off. There’s no difference, no outside world, just you and the game.
How far it’s come
It’s amazing how far the virtual reality industry has come, and how it tricks your brain into seeing 3-D images simply by using camera angles and simulations. By using things like our own field of view, and keeping things as lifelike as possible, we feel as if we are there in the world. With the technology that allows us to move around the room and do the same actions that our character does, we can really feel like we are the hero of the game.
Try it out for yourself
It’s one thing to have a shootout with an enemy when you are at your computer and simply clicking away to fire your weapon. It’s another to have to literally duck and use your hands to shoot back, or you have to swing your arms to bring your sword down on someone. Using sensors and remotes, the game tracks your movements and changes the game accordingly. Playing VR takes some time to get used too, but it also is one of the best steps for total video game immersion that the industry has. If you are the type of person who wants to be in the game, then try out VR!