VR is an awesome concept. Entirely immersed gaming, making the player feel more ‘in the game’ than ever before possible.
Just imagine the possibilities for the horror genre. Every time you slightly turn your head you will be terrified that a monster will jump out at you. You want to run but you also want to stand still and cry. Being attacked and dying will feel like a real threat to you now, being injured will feel much more physical as if it is really happening. What more could you want? Fear of impending death and potentially having a heart attack. Gaming at its best.
Whilst we are on the physical side of things, there have been recent big steps in making VR even more terrifying. A team of researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) lab at Germany’s Hasso Plattner Institute have created a device which they are called Impacto (sounds cool right?). The device can be attached to the player’s arm or leg and is linked to the Virtual Reality headset being worn. The purpose of the device is to cause the user to actually feel the impact of a punch, for example.
In the video below we see a player feeling the effects of being punched in a boxing game or feeling the strike of a football on his foot.
This clever piece of technology takes VR to a whole new level. The team of researchers have spoken about also creating similar devices for the shoulders and abdominal region, meaning impact can be felt all over the body.
Although this obviously does not cause the user any pain, this still would be terrifying when used in gaming. Imagine not seeing your attacker in the dark and suddenly feeling the impact of their stealthy attack. I can imagine there will be an abundance of gamers wearing these headsets screaming randomly whilst others look on in concern.
I think that VR and Impacto together is a beautiful combination that could potentially change the face of gaming and how we interact with video games. The idea of being able to explore the beautiful jungles in Uncharted or the apocalyptic world in Fallout 4 through the use of a VR headset is incredibly exciting.
Virtual Reality will make gaming much more psychological as players will be much more cautious when making a move due to feeling like they will be physically impacted if a mistake is made.
I cannot wait for Virtual Reality to be available to everyone worldwide, I also cannot wait to be psychologically tormented by video games.