Potential Negative VR Aspects – by Marc Armstrong

If you haven’t yet tried out real VR, I recommend you do so at your earliest opportunity. It really is one of those things that fall into the “you don’t understand unless you’ve tried it yourself” category. I had the lucky chance just recently, with a nearby friend having purchased a Playstation VR headset. Being a person whose job is based around online casinos, and online casinos going VR pretty soon, I felt it was best I tried out VR sooner, rather than later.

The overall experience I feel completely justified in describing as mind blowing. There was, however, a con to my VR journey that cannot be ignored. Namely that for the first half an hour it took a pretty major effort on my part to not land up with my face flat on the ground.

VR Disorientation

You see, I feel that many still don’t understand that VR has a profound impact on your brain. The VR world looks, for all intents and purposes, about as real as a digital world possibly can. The depth and feeling of space is astonishing.

The down side is, however, that your brain, rightly so, has real issues with suddenly not being able to place your body in this strange new world. In my own experience, a feeling of jarring disorientation set in upon looking down and seeing I didn’t have legs, or a body of any kind, for that matter.

It wasn’t that I personally didn’t understand I was seeing a VR world, but my brain, on the other hand, had some serious issues with the whole situation. I swayed about and had to keep taking small correctional steps, given that my sense of balance was all over the place. It got worse before it got better.

Uncontrolled Motion Disorientation

Seasickness is no laughing matter. It hits some people hard, reducing them to lumps of vomiting jelly, generally seen hanging over the side of the boat and making sounds like a feline ejecting hairballs. I haven’t experienced sickness on a boat, but understand that the effect is due to your brain being unhappy about the uncontrolled motion of the ocean. In my VR journey the disorientation got alarmingly worse upon controlling the character in the game, Resident Evil 7, for those interested.

The camera in the game is controlled by the right thumb stick, which sweeps the view around, as it generally does in games. In this case, however, given that the game is first person, it meant the view in front of your eyes sweeps about regardless of what your head is currently doing. For some. the result is overwhelming seasickness. For me, it was a sensation similar to finding myself unexpectedly in a washing machine on the spin cycle.

Mind Adjustment

If this is all making you a bit resistant to the concept of VR, don’t fret. It turns out that brains are very adaptable and versatile. After about half an hour my brain gradually got used to the situation. After another half hour I was merrily scooting about in he VR world, with only minor, fleeting losses of balance. As a tip, it really helped if I stood with my leg touching the couch. This, apparently, grounded my brain.

VR Casino Games

After playing Resident Evil I tried out a simple VR slot game, and I’m happy to report that the disorientation was not nearly as striking. Given that the game didn’t require you to move from a single spot, there was never any disconnect between what my head was doing, and what I was seeing.

All in all the experience of a VR slot game was rather breathtaking, and the level of immersion so deep that I can honestly say I felt something close to VR induced euphoria. The game featured relaxing music and dazzling visuals, and overall I feel I could’ve stayed in that happy little place for hours. All I can say is that if a simple slot game was this enjoyable in VR, an online poker game in VR will be something seriously worth looking forward to.

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