Culture & Society

Opinion: What Is Needed for VR Gaming and Can It Become Dangerous?

VR is here. Please fasten your seatbelts and put your goggles on – we’re about to take off! The future is at our door, and Virtual Reality is changing the way we do things around here. 


Gaming is a huge industry in the 21st century. Since the 80s, when the first games appeared, the gaming industry is only seeing a rise in numbers. People, especially the young ones, are literally obsessed with their favorite games. Today, technology makes this obsession even greater. 

Gaming and VR through the numbers

To find proof about these claims above, we need to take a more in-depth look into the Virtual Reality statistics and how the industry is doing right now. 


As a part of some of the most important stats about VR is the one that says it is now a $17 billion market. As of 2018, there were 171 million active VR users in the world. That’s like if the entire population of Great Britain, France, and Spain were hooked up on VR devices every day. 


In the US alone, around 43 million people use VR on a monthly level. Of course, this is not a stat for the gaming industry alone. There are lots of VR uses in the health industry, the education system, and other places alike. Still, the gaming and the entertainment business hold 40.5% shares of the market.


In the next two years, the market is expected to double in growth and reach $34 billion by the year 2023. This number may see a slight or significant change-up, but it’s not likely it’s going to go down unless something unexpected happens. With the rise of technology and getting new better models each quarter of the year, we can only expect things to go up in every sense — better features, more satisfaction, and of course, higher revenues.

What equipment is needed for VR gaming?

The VR games are just the same as any other game out there. The difference is only in the graphics. The special software and hardware acceleration for getting all the juice out of your equipment will let you feel like you’re a part of the virtual world.


However, to really feel the experience, you need some seriously strong, and for some expensive equipment. The headset is standard hardware for playing in VR mode. Without them, you don’t feel the true experience. Some of the headsets that gamers love at the moment are Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The first ones come at a price of $599 and above, while the second ones are $799.


Still, to work with these means nothing if you have no hardware in your desktop or laptop computer. Aside from the processor and all the standard little things, you’ll need to invest some money in the proper graphic card, which is definitely the most important issue here.


The minimum requirements will cost you somewhere around $800. That includes a regular processor that can even be below the i3 standards, 16GN of ram, Win 10 operating system, and let’s say GeForce GTX 1070 graphic card. With this, you’ll feel like you’re in VR, but won’t be ecstatic.


If you really want to see what it is all about, you need to follow the HTC Vive requirements. That means at least i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080, and 16 GB ram. This will cost you up to $2000, but the experience will be out of this world.

How to do it?

A lot of people who are about to start with the VR headsets are not aware of how it is really done. Do you sit in the chair like usual gaming? Are you standing in the middle of the room? Is there a special place to do it?


These are all legitimate questions, to be honest. This is one of the issues that VR companies will need to work on in the future. The answer is – there’s no rule, but if you want to enjoy, you’re going to need at least some space for reaching out your arms.


Playing table tennis does not require too much space, but if you’re going to fight some monsters on the battlefield, be sure that you’ll end up knocking down the TV set. When you get in the zone, you’ll completely forget about the furniture around you.


This is why it’s best to have an empty room and a place where you’ll be free to move around without destroying something. Also, try not to fall over the couch and break an arm or something.

Be ready because VR is taking over completely

If you’re around the playing age when Wolfenstein 3D was released, you know how impressed by the graphics people were. It was in 1992, around 30 years ago, and the graphics were a total disaster looking from today’s perspective.


We have games today that can make you feel like you’re inside the happenings. Still, have in mind that people felt the same in 1992. With this in mind, just imagine how gaming will be in 2052? Holograms? Teleportation in virtual battlefields? We don’t know, but we’re so excited to see. 


What we know is that the next decade is going to be taken over by Virtual Reality and its features. Even now, VR is being used in the gaming industry, but the amount of its shares is too small. Predictions are that it’s going to be totally taken over in the near future.


Have you seen Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” and the future that Mr. Spielberg predicts awaits us? In it, the entire humanity is VR-dependant. Even the lowest and the poorest classes of people find a getaway in an almost drug-related escape from reality. Maybe the film is kinda portraying a theatrical set for the sake of the story, but you can be sure that this screenplay is not going to be far from reality in a decade or so.

VR can easily cause addiction

If we look at the definition given by the US psychiatric association, addiction is the compulsive use of some substance even though it may cause harm to the person consuming it. The definition is usually linked to drug, alcohol, or cigarette use, but lately, it’s being used for technology too.


The World Health Association says there are around 3-4% of people being addicted to gaming. That means some people spend more than 10 hours per day playing video games. The addictiveness is caused because the human brain simply enjoys spending time in the gaming world rather than the real one.


VR gaming is still not as huge as the standard gaming, so there are no precise numbers about it. However, the enjoyment from it is raised, and that’s obvious. With it, the addictiveness of playing VR games is also going to jump on some new levels. So to conclude – yes, VR is definitely causing addictiveness and can be dangerous. 

The dangers must be taken seriously

According to Jean Twenge, a San Diego State University professor in Psychology, children around the age of 14 who are heavy users of technology are more prone to depression than the other kids their age. 


We’re talking here about items that are not as influential to our brain, even nearly as VR can be. Virtual Reality can easily be considered a drug as it offers a way out of the harsh reality. This for the young generation can be a shocking experience and create a completely wrong understanding of the world they’re about to grow in.


VR reality gaming is going to create a feeling of power. It will also create a feeling of wrong behavior in young minds if they are allowed to play games where battles are the main priority. Every psychologist knows that teenagers are very likely to become addicted to games and VR as they go through a series of changes in their minds. If they don’t like reality, and chances are great they won’t, they’ll find refuge in the games where their heroes and virtual characters are powerful, rich, controlling, and everything else they’re not in the real world. 


Society must take this issue into serious consideration. Certain age limits must be set. Proper controls on what games are allowed to kids must be done if we want the new generations to be functional and ready for adult life.

What are the best VR games in 2020 going to offer? 

The year 2020 is going to be amazing for VR game lovers. There are so many planned releases during February and March. The new Marvel’s Iron Man VR is coming out, and it’s expected to be an amazing experience for everyone who likes flying around and shooting at things. 


Then, for those who like the world of magic, there’s The Wizards – Dark Times release that is still not scheduled precisely. However, for those in love with casting spells and walking through the enchanted grounds of deep mysterious lands, this is definitely the number one choice.


And how about Half-Life? The epic from Valve Corporation. This year in March, we’re expecting to see the Half-Life: Alyx, which is a game whose story is happening prior to the story of Half-Life 2. In this one, Alyx Vance and her father are fighting against the occupying alien force.


Low-Fi is an interesting overview of the possible future for humans. In the game, you control the sheriff of Cityblock 303, where the citizens are mainly people who are too poor to be connected to the virtual world and robots whose AI was not developed enough to make it elsewhere. It looks like a possible outcome for those who’re not going to be very lucky in the future.


As you can see, VR is going to become a huge part of our lives in the future. It’s up to us as a society how we’re going to deal with it. Virtual Reality offers some amazing features, and there’s no arguing about it. Many industries will find use in it, and humanity, in general, can have vast benefits. 


At the moment, as we said, over 40% of the VR products are made for the gaming and entertainment industry. In the future, this number is going to reach 50%. As more people will connect themselves online through VR devices, the gaming industry will also be forced to produce more and better platforms with games that are going to compete for dominance. 


If you consider yourself a gamer and follow the trends, you’re already aware of the VR benefits. And if you’re still not convinced that standing in the middle of an empty room swishing with your hands in the silent emptiness will become huge in the years to come, you better think again and look up those VR devices online.


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I can be found writing, designing, and developing articles in diverse fields and reading up on technology trends. In my free time I love to travel, sing, play guitar, and watch movies.

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