Virtual reality (VR) is still relatively new and its game application is even newer. The first headset suitable for VR gaming was the Oculus Rift, which only became commercially available in 2016. Developers expected immediate demand for VR gaming and headsets. In reality, the VR game market developed slowly at first.
There were issues with motion sickness and lag between a player’s action and feedback to the headset (known as “latency” in the lingo). At the time of Valve launch Half-Life: Alyx by 2020, the developers had fixed some of these issues. Headsets became cheaper and the range of games increased. Google has introduced a line of cardboard headsets, bringing the price down to an affordable level for everyone.
When people interact with a virtual world, their reactions are often fun to watch. The reason we find it so fun to watch VR gamers is easy to find. Players are thrown into a situation that we could see on a monitor, knowing what is coming and that the game is completely wrong. For the gamer, the world of VR is real, even though they know deep down that it’s just a game. Here are our ten funniest moments in VR gaming.
Related: Top 10 things that will shatter your perception of reality
ten A screaming good time
In this video, the player tells himself several times that he does not like what is happening to him. Judging by his reactions, that’s undoubtedly true, but it begs the question of why he doesn’t take the helmet off. We will see other videos that make us ask the same question. I guess the answer has to be that he wants to see what happens next and he’s afraid he’ll look weak if he gives up.
Notice that the man makes a lot of shouting. What does he think it will do good? Yelling isn’t rational, so why do we do it when we’re scared?
The amygdala is a structure in the center of the brain that processes emotions triggered by fear. A scream in the amygdala prompts our brain to be more alert and increases our analytical powers. It can help you escape from a haunted house, but it will do you a lot of good if you jump out of a plane and your parachute doesn’t open.
Still, it’s funny to see people react in a primitive way.
9 down the rabbit hole
You have to admire the perseverance of mom in this clip. She’s ready to try virtual reality, even though she’s half scared to death. Her family finds her antics hilarious because they know she is safe at home and not where she thinks she is. Of course, Mom would know too if she could think about the situation rationally. But the thing about virtual reality is that it affects the brain on a more primitive level.
In Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice follows the White Rabbit down its burrow and finds herself in an absurd and surreal world. His background doesn’t help him much in a place where his logical rules often don’t apply. Very similar to the experience of putting on a VR headset.
Mom has gone down the rabbit hole, and on some level her brain is convinced that this is a real experience.
8 This game has teeth
The girl here is a little suspicious of what her boyfriend is trying to persuade her to do. He’s honest enough to admit that he’s never played the game before, so he’s not sure what to expect. The girl has experience with VR games, so she is aware that this underwater world is artificial.
Yet, on occasion, primal emotions come to the surface. This game is distinguished by the fact that the player has no control over what happens to him. She is in a protective cage and is warned that something is coming. Like many of our players, she says she doesn’t like what’s going on. Still, she can’t do much if she wants to complete the game.
An interesting benefit of VR gaming is that it can help people overcome their phobias. If people can have fun with sharks, they can be helped to overcome their fear.
seven Descend into the depths
This one is interesting because it’s a challenge shared by people you know who would probably be too ready to laugh at a failure. As you will see, the principle of this game is simple. Players must walk on a short plank suspended above a city. If they make it to the end, they can get off and fall to the ground. The graphics clearly show an imaginary place; there is no attempt to trick players into believing it is real.
Our brains are divided into reptilian (or primitive), limbic, and neocortex (although some use different terms). When our players walk the board, the reptilian section is dominant. It is the most primitive of the three parts and controls vital functions such as balance, respiration, heart rate and temperature. Rationality is not part of his function; this is basic survival.
The dominance of the reptilian brain explains player reactions in all of our videos and explains why we who use more rational parts of the brain find VR games hilarious to watch.
6 release steam
Although the player is reassured that he is safe inside a room, rationality flies out the window once he puts on his VR headset. He babbles occasionally and swears a lot. There are a lot of swear words in some of our videos, and most of them are louder than “shit”.
Swearing is a safety release that allows us to relieve tension, and the louder the swearing, the more effective the action. This player is always clear in his mind that his experience is completely contrived, taking off his helmet to give himself a break before diving back in. A good idea if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by the experience. But our player can’t help but dive back into it. The world of virtual reality is challenging, fun and addictive.
5 Safety first
Here we see a mix of experiences from people who are not used to VR games. We have seen them in other videos. Players close their eyes, scream and writhe as spectators laughingly remind them that they are safe.
What’s particularly striking about this video is how many times people get things wrong in the real world. This can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced users immersed in a virtual world with no spatial relationship to reality.
I guess the lesson is that you shouldn’t use VR technology unless you’re in a safe environment. This is one of the reasons why some gamers prefer to play in arcades. There they are monitored and can immediately share their experiences with others.
4 This game is sick
This compilation confirms what we said about other videos. At one point, one of the players says, “I feel dizzy”, and that may be a problem with VR technology.
Many gamers report feeling dizzy or nauseous when using VR headsets. Basically, it’s the difference between what the eyes tell the player and what the body actually does in real space. For example, if a player is climbing stairs in a game, but the body knows it is really on flat ground, the player may become disoriented.
This feeling can be exacerbated by something awe-inspiringly called “convergence-accommodation conflict.” This happens when, in VR, the eyes are focused on something that appears to be far away but is actually on a screen right in front of the eyes.
But watching people swirl and stagger like they’ve overindulged in the Christmas party can be comical.
3 Don’t do VR alone
This video highlights the fact that people should not use virtual reality alone. You might find — in fact, you probably will — that everyone in the room laughs to themselves. Not funny for you when you have a terrifying experience. Never mind, you will have your turn to laugh at others, and prevention is better than cure.
I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to build a proximity sensor into VR headsets so people get a warning if they get too close to a real object.
2 With Metaverse it will only get better
The commentator of this video points out that space is important. He talks about having enough space to play safely. This is a point we have made before, and it is certainly true. However, in virtual reality, two different spaces collide: the real world and the imaginary.
The fact that the Facebook group changed its name to Meta tells us a lot about the boundless ambition that drives the company. It is now dedicated to building a metaverse. The idea behind a metaverse seems to be building an alternate reality that makes sense internally but allows users to perform actions in the “real” world.
Gaming will undoubtedly be an important feature of the Metaverse, and companies are developing new technologies to make the experience more real. More real and more fun for everyone.
1 Future of fast food
I don’t know if “funny” is the right word to describe this last clip. “Surreal” might be better. The normal activity of ordering a meal at McDonald’s becomes an interactive shooter with graphics from an old Duke Nukem.
The only limits of virtual reality are the limits we impose on our own imagination. The gaming world is changing, and the changes aren’t just limited to gaming. Virtual reality can change the way we interact with the world. The way we live, work, play and interact with others could change dramatically.
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