How do you explain virtual reality to somebody who has never tried it?
To anybody who has tried high end virtual reality (VR) on an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift and has then tried to explain it to a friend or person, you will know the frustration of trying to realistically describe the experience. You’re mostly confronted with a pained expression of confusion, a cocking of the head and you can visually see the gears in their head trying to work out what you’re describing to them.
You’ve probably spoken to people who have ‘tried’ VR with cardboard headsets for certain newspaper experiences such as The New York Times or The Guardian. Or people mention 360 degree videos they see on Facebook and YouTube, and although that technically is VR it does not enable you to physically move around in that space or doesn’t have tracking. The Samsung Gear VR is a step up and allows for a lot more, but it still isn’t that same high end VR experience you’re trying to describe to your friends and family. Now it’s not like you can carry around a high end headset, there’s too many things you need to run it. A high end VR ready PC or laptop, and when it comes to the HTC Vive you need quite a bit of space and be prepared to have wires strewn everywhere. That’s almost impossible in many cases, especially when you live in the city.
So how can you share VR with your friends?
Two words: VR Arcades.
They have started to crop up across Asia, America and Europe with huge success. VR Arcades could potentially also be training the next generation of VR e-sports players. Nina Salomons explains the importance of VR Arcades in the current state of VR and what you should be looking for when going to a VR Arcade.
So in the video I said I would compile a list but going to VRNISH website may be a lot easier. Simply type in your location. You might be surprised by the number of VR Arcades available and keep cropping up, there are even some in Africa. Let us know your thoughts on VR Arcades in the comments below!