Virtual reality; a demo.

With time to kill and shopping to do, I needed a break after an hour. Remember how much I detest clothes shopping? Since it was early, the staff in PC World were happy to give a demo of virtual reality gaming.

Using a Sony PS4, and a sci-fi racing game and the headset (pictured) we went ahead. I know there is always a process of setting up and customising kit as there were problems to overcome. Here is a list with starting with the least significant:

  • Sound: harsh and loud,
  • The game, frantic and stressful,
  • Blurring, and chromatic aberration,
  • Vertigo, felt as dizziness.

I think the game was called Wipeout. What a ridiculous cartoon game for children. I had to stop before the round was over with my head spinning and stressed. The fault may lie with the game, a flight simulator usually has a clear horizon line. In Wipeout, the banked track as the bit that made me dizzy.

I’d better not be too dismissive until I’ve tried a proper flight simulator. From what the staff said, it sounds like the focus on this console is arcade games. That’s not encouraging for me.

More interesting would be a similar setup that enables players to explore virtual worlds. Surely, it must be possible with current technology to generate a procedural planet and populate it with user content. Better still, one that we players can create scenes, buildings, vehicles and objects.
There would be a way to get back into 3DS Max and build a world, maybe with the Unity engine. What fun to make a familiar building but with hidden secrets.

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