Virtual reality is taking over home entertainment and technology in a big way and it looks like it may be here to stay. Companies like Facebook/Oculus are investing millions upon millions dollars and tons of man hours to further research and development and push the boundaries of VR. Mobile phone companies, Microsoft, PlayStation, and many other companies have joined in the exploration of this technology producing their own content and hardware. It’s everywhere.
If you have tried the latest high quality VR, you’re probably among the millions who truly believe in the future potential of the technology. But there are dangers associated with virtual reality that have to be discussed and it seems that the media and these companies are turning a blind eye to them. Seeing as nobody else will, I felt that I should at least open the discussion for these very real* dangers that anyone using VR can face. Here’s hoping I might save someone the trouble.
Getting Robbed Right Under Your Nose
Home alone? Make sure to lock all your doors and turn on your alarm when you put on your VR headset! It’s only a matter of time before your neighborhood cat burglar tries to sneak in while you’re fully immersed in an amazing virtual world. The Hamburglar might be tiptoeing to raid your fridge as you zoom around that race track! You won’t be able to hear or see anything outside of that awesome space station you’re exploring; Or that massive dungeon you just went through slaying all sorts of monsters with your party. This burglar could take away your TV from right in front of you and you wouldn’t even know because you don’t even need a TV to play these captivating VR games!
Solution: Paste googly eyes on the front of your VR headset. You’ll scare that burglar right off when he thinks you see him! (Also, it’s a pretty freaking hilarious)
Friends Playing Pranks
Having a game night? A couple of your buddies over? Don’t put on that VR headset! There’s a 99.9% chance that your friends will make a mockery of you and post your embarrassing moment all over social media.
There’s a high chance you’ll get pushed, poked, pantsed, or have some other form of trickery performed on you while you’re unaware of your surroundings and lost in your VR world. Playing a scary game on VR? Yeah, please believe your reaction is being posted to Snapchat.
Solution: Trust no one.
Getting Stuck in a Virtual World Where If You Die in the Game, You Die in Real Life
It’s only a matter of time before a super genius hacker traps your mind inside a game where the only way out is to beat the game by going up 100 levels of intense and grueling dungeons and boss battles or … die. But here’s the catch, if you die in the game, you die in real life too! You’ll be faced with dangerous monsters and even other players who want to do you harm!
Solution: Don’t die! 1) Wait for someone else to beat the game and everyone will be free. 2) Grind like crazy in low level, no PK’ing zones and become the most OP player in the game where nothing can even scratch you. Note: This could take several years. 3) Or settle down in a safe zone with another player and raise your virtual daughter by a tranquil lakeside. Yeah, your real body will be wasting away in a vegetative state but you’ll be happy in-game at least!
Losing a Sense of Which Life Is Real Life
Don’t spend too much time inside that VR headset or you might forget which life is real! Are you really Koshi Naru the legendary heroic swordsman of seven realms? Or are you Travis, the 9 to 5 office employee in a dead-end job who is currently hating his life? VR can be so engaging and immersive that you might forget which one is actually the real life you’ve lived. Games with stories and lore that tell you everything about the character you’re playing won’t help either because their memories become your memories!
Solution: Pick one world and stay with it. You won’t have to choose if you stick with one! (I don’t know about you but that heroic legend gig sounds pretty sweet!)
Walking Into Traffic
Did you just download that new mobile virtual reality game that uses your GPS to pinpoint your location and map out a virtual world based on the real world? You really have to hand it to the devs, it’s truly ingenious and encourages you to get up and be active. But be careful! Chances are you’ll be going over to that check-in spot across the street in the game and walk right out into traffic! With your headset on, there’s no way you can tell! I don’t care what all the kids are saying. Playing Frogger blindfolded in real life is not fun.
Solution: Take the headset off! Don’t walk into traffic, guys!
The Take Away
I have listed just a few of the real dangers that come with virtual reality. It’s pretty incomprehensible why these topics have never been discussed before but the time is now to do so. It’s a super cool technology but remember to game responsibly. You never know when you might be faced with one of these situations.
Surely, some of you have already experienced some crazy things while using VR. Sound off in the comments below. What VR warnings would you like to issue to your fellow gamers?
*This article is a satire and just for fun. Let’s not take it seriously.