Video games have been confined to a TV screen and controller for many years, but are now moving closer to players’ faces to create a more interactive space.
Game X Change store manager James Hess said virtual reality takes people into the virtual world of their choice by wearing headsets and participating in a video game in a more interactive way.
“If you’ve ever read a book and closed your eyes, and imagined yourself in this world, that’s virtual reality,” Hess said.
Hess said virtual reality provides a more interactive and immersive experience for gamers, compared to console or computer games.
“Let’s say you were playing a regular game that has buttons and controls,” Hess said. “That’s great and all, but if you were using an Oculus Quest 2, you can feel what it’s like to be standing on a cliff looking down, and your brain will have the same feeling as if you were on a cliff, as opposed to in a game where you’re standing there on top of a building, looking over the edge. You wouldn’t get the same feeling.”
Some of the downsides of virtual reality can involve pain. Hess said some people tend to experience motion sickness, neck pain, and/or headaches when spending more than an hour or two in VR.
Virtual reality offers a plethora of gameplay options, ranging from rhythm to combat to magic.
Hess said the quality and experience a buyer wants can help define the type of headsets they should buy.
On the low end of VR, Hess said headsets can cost between $100 and $200, while high-end sets can cost between $400 and $1,000 or more.
This is especially true if other accessories are added to the system to enhance graphics or experiences.
Pricing may also depend on whether the headset is designed to be used in tandem with a game console.
While some accessories can be used to help amplify an experience, such as adding extra parts to help track a player’s feet, some are used to allow a user to participate in virtual reality, in general.
In the past, helmets weren’t adaptable for use by someone who wore glasses, but accessories can now be purchased to help, such as spacers and comforters.
Hess thinks the best time to introduce someone to VR is in their early teens.
While a teenager can start trying out the headsets, Hess said, there really isn’t an age limit for VR.