A man playing with VR.

Thoughts After (Finally) Experiencing VR For The First Time

VR was last year’s hot topic in gaming but despite being what many would consider “old news”, many have yet to experience it.  I finally have and, well… wow.

I didn’t know what to expect with VR.  I had a feeling it would be like experiencing the jump from 2D to 3D all over again, yet at the same time, I was pessimistic.  I held my (admittedly crappy) 720p phone up to my eyes and thought “how can any screen this close to my head actually look good?”

Ever the pessimist, I imagined huge pixels, bad graphics, and an uncomfortable weight on the front of my face.  I tried to tell myself that VR wasn’t ready yet, that I haven’t been missing anything.

Well, now I know I have been missing something.  Something truly revolutionary that every gamer should experience.

I’m a gamer on a budget, and unfortunately, a VR headset is not within that budget.  Until recently, I didn’t know anyone who had even used VR let alone owned it.  Today, though, I found myself sitting in my cousin’s house, clutching the Oculus Rift headset in my hands, knowing that my video game perspective would never be the same again.

How good is VR?  It’s incredible.  Truly incredible.

I stood with an alien on an icy planets surface, I stood on top of a skyscraper in a beautiful city just watching the world in motion, and I pooped my pants as a tyrannosaurus rex roared in my face.  Then, I headshotted some zombies, came first place in a Project Cars lap race and drooled at the simplistic yet mesmerizing world of Lucky’s Tale.

Here’s the thing: what I did wasn’t so special.  The feeling wearing that VR headset gave me was.

I literally felt like I was in every world that I explored.  I held my breath on top of that brick tower as I peered over the edge, and I felt like I could reach out and touch the zombies trying to devour me while desperately trying to reload.

I was sitting in the corner of a bedroom feeling like I was truly in the world before me.  For the first time ever, gaming required absolutely no imagination from me what so ever to truly be immersive.

I can place my hand on my heart and say that experiencing VR is as much a milestone moment for me as loading up Metal Gear Solid for the first time was.  Yes, if I really tried I could see the pixels on the screen.  Yes, the headset weighs something (but not a lot, and certainly not enough to be uncomfortable).  Everything negative I told myself about VR to make myself feel better for not having it was wrong.  There, I said it.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to try VR, please do everything you can to experience it.  But be warned: gaming will never be the same again.  The next time I use my head-tracker to play Elite: Dangerous I’ll be doing so thinking about how awesome it would be if I had a chunk of plastic with a screen strapped to my face.

VR, I love you.  I’ll add you to my collection one day, you’ll see.