Monday, November 07, 2016

VR Games and When Can We Play 'Skyrim'?

Holy fudge. So much gaming content this weekend. Between PAX Australia, BlizzCon, and Extra Life, the brains of gamers have started to melt into puddles of gooey awesome-ness.

A topic that has cropped up during PAX was the future of VR and when we can expect to see games like Skyrim on the docket. Hosting a panel at PAX, broadcaster Nic Healey asked the question to 5 local (to Australia) VR developers. It's not about the manpower of putting Skyrim into a VR set-up. But can the human body handle it? VR experiences are different from traditional gaming systems, where they are measured in minutes - not hours. Utilizing your whole body for VR is a different beast when compared to using a controller and only your hands.

Let's be real here for a moment. None of us can swing a sword around for 6 hours. I'm not saying that to indicate that gamers are out of shape. Not even the most physically fit person can last an hour at DDR or a Kinect game without feeling some form of exhaustion.  Our bodies are built to exert a certain amount of energy. When we start to tire, that's our body's warning sign that we need to rest. You can build up your stamina over time through exercise and training, but the bottom line is that even supreme athletes can't swing around an axe for multiple hours in a VR world. Skyrim would take years for people to complete instead of a month by VR standards.

This isn't to say that a full game like Fallout can't be VR ready. There would need to be modifications with controls to remove the need for the gamer to stand and utilize their whole body for actions. You can still retain some of the experience without putting your body at risk. Because let's face it, for a popular game like Call of Duty to go VR, people would play for hours on end. They'd make themselves sick from exhaustion or what-not and that puts the developers in danger of backlash and lawsuits.

Eventually there will be a balance between the quick, 10-15 minute VR games and the 50 hour games. Something to think about today. Enjoy!

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