Virtual reality (VR) technology has the amazing ability to put you in a place or position that you wouldn’t normally find yourself in, experiencing something almost first hand. That could be travelling to an exotic location, standing on the ledge of a skyscraper, or in the case of ViRa Games’ latest VR videogame Wheelchair Simulator, seeing what it’s like to use wheelchairs in an industrialised world.
If you’re able bodied wandering around a town or city requires little thought other than where you’re going and keep an eye on your surroundings – and not looking at your phone. That’s not the case for everyone however. Cities can be a minefield to navigate for wheelchair users, which is why ViRa Games decided to create Wheelchair Simulator in the first place.
Taking a somewhat comedic approach to the issue, the experience requires players to complete several courses, getting from start to finish whilst avoiding lots of pitfalls on route. These range from crossing roads without getting run over, rolling down hills whilst avoiding people, or how about trying to cross train tracks when a high-speed locomotive is about to appear.
To do this you need to get physical, upper body physical. There’s no remote control assistance here just good old fashioned muscles, having to spin the wheels by moving each controller just like you would the wheels. Meaning that latter levels can be quite the workout.
Wheelchair Simulator even comes with its own narrator, Dmytro Schebetyuk. Schebetyuk suffered a spinal injury seven years ago, but the incident didn’t stopped him as he’s performed extreme wheelchair stunts, hitchhiked around the world and he’s participated in the paralympics.