Losing My VR Virginity

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Yes, that’s right, I finally lost my VR virginity, and it was awesome!

I have always wanted to experience virtual reality. It just seems so futuristic and mind blowing. The way experts predict that VR will shape the future and yet I hadn’t placed a headset once on my head seemed ridiculous!

Therefore, I decided, it was time.

London MCM Comic Con, May 2017. It was the first ever time that I went to a Comic Con event, so I was super excited about seeing all of the wacky, clever cosplays and getting to try brand new games that haven’t even been released yet, like Agents of Mayhem; an absolutely awesome game which I will definitely be purchasing in August.

Suddenly, while exploring the variety of stalls the event had to offer, the PSVR caught me eye. Its delicate, sleek design and beautiful LED strips had me long for a session in the Virtual world.

And I knew the exact game to play: Gran Turismo.

Back when I had my PS2, I remember playing Gran Turismo 4. Now, in it’s time, it was an incredible game. From what I remember the graphics weren’t too bad for a 2004 video game.

Let’s fast forward to 2017. Instead of driving around and racing with a controller, you can actually experience the driving yourself with a steering wheel, gear shifter and the pedals, all in VR!

I got to experience Gran Turismo with a steering wheel and the accelerator and brake pedals. But unfortunately I didn’t get to enroll in a full driving adventure as there was no clutch or gear shifter.

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That is something I would love to do. Maybe next time, eh?

Despite it lacking the equipment needed to relate to a real life car, I managed to lose a lot of time while engulfed in Virtual driving.

The experience still succeed in convincing me that I was driving a car! Seeing as many of us won’t be able to drive a car like this in our lifetimes, this experience is definitely worth while.

Gaming in 1950s to Now

To be honest, it’s absolutely phenomenal how far games have come since the beginning in the 1950s.

It all began with computers that were so huge they needed an entire room! And all the computer could process was a simple game of tic tac toe.

We then moved to a few white pixels on the screen that were more interactive. Players had to bounce a singular white pixel, acting as the ball, back and forth between two white lines. This was known as the Atari Pong which was created in 1975.

For it’s era, this game could keep 2 players entertained all day.

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Throughout the years of gaming, there has been many additions that have revolutionised video games.

Space Invaders circa 1978, is a truly iconic game that is still around today with many different editions and remakes. Its simple design, but great soundtrack and effects made this game turn an average video game hobbyist into a life-long, competitive gamer.

Tetris is also a game which has had many remakes over the years. It was originally created in 1984, and enabled the gaming community to grow a lot larger as it attracted all kinds of people.

And then there was super mario bros, where it all started in 1985: the first appearance of Mario on a console, which then spiralled into many more creations, remakes and editions.

This was the very beginning of all platformer games. From here onwards, the gaming industry just grew bigger and better.

Now we arrive in the early 90s to present, where gaming changed forever. We became more advanced with our technology and our innovative ideas to build something spectacular.

First person shooters came into play, like Doom in 1993; the first of many.

Then there was strategy games, MMOs and RPGs like World of Warcraft in 2004, puzzle games, racing games, action and adventure…. The list is endless.

All of these genres of games that have developed over the years have lead to people asking the question: How else can I play my favourite video games?

What other ways can players be so deeply immersed in games that they have forgotten the world once around them?

Et Voila! The Virtual Reality headset is our answer!

Unbelievable experiences of being immensely involved in video games have been created, thanks to VR and most importantly, movement with your legs, arms and your weapon of choice are now a possibility.

Honestly, playing CSGO like this would be so much fun.

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Video games truly are evolving rapidly.

Anyway, back to Gran Turismo.

Gran Turismo Sport is meant to be released at some point this year and will be available for PSVR. Trust me, you should definitely give this game a try in VR.

The way that technology is going, I feel as if at some point, you won’t need driving lessons in real life. You can just drive using VR with a very advanced steering wheel, pedals and a gear shifter.

As soon as I sat in that driving seat behind the wheel, I asked, “Is it possible for me to drift”, and the employee answered “Only if you know how to drift in real life”. I wish I did.

Soon I will learn.

This just proves that it is scarily similar to driving. It’s almost there. Just give it a few years.

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I understand that all of you experienced drivers out there may disagree, but I know how to drive, and I fully understand that it is different.

You don’t get the full experience of the bounce in your suspension, to feel of the bite on your clutch, the smell of burnt rubber after you have just managed to complete a sick burnout, the beautiful sound of your turbocharger, the wind blowing in your face as you master an awesome drift.

Or you know, if you are a casual, everyday driver, you just don’t get to experience it the same way.

Okay, It’s different. But technology is advancing.

It’s predicted to change our lives in so many ways and there is no reason why this experience couldn’t, one day, completely replicate that of a real driving experience.

This infographic explains incredibly well how VR is supposed to evolve and integrate itself into everyday lives. If we’ll, one day, be able to transport ourselves to the top of the pyramids, why couldn’t we drive a virtual car?

Anyway, after my tremendous experience, I needed more!

I decided I wanted to try out more games in virtual reality.

On the Oculus Rift I played a number of awesome games from AudioShield to Lucky’s Tale.

I even got to walk along a plank which was suspended from a very very very tall building. I had to jump off the plank too – that made me feel so queasy (It’s called Richie’s Plank Experience and you can play it on Steam!)

This game is perfect for all the troll gamers out there. All you have to do is get your friend who is scared of heights and get them on this plank! Warning, they may hate you forever.

Audio Shield was definitely my favourite game. You had to block these coloured balls with a corresponding shield to the beats of a song. It kinda reminded me of guitar hero, which is one of my favourite franchises, therefore that is probably the reason I loved it so much.

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Lucky’s Tale was brilliant. I didn’t have to do much movement as this is a platformer. Honestly, I never expected to see a platformer for VR. It was awesome!

It just made you feel like you were actually in the platformer, watching over this little fox. It really made you feel like you had a connection with this character.

After all my VR experiences, I definitely want to try out more games. The escapism that comes with these games is unreal! Stimuli in the real world can no longer interrupt you while fully immersed with a headset making you really question reality during the experience.

Also, new games are being released everyday and I would severally regret not being a part of the evolution of VR!

I’d love to see a zombie killing  game, similar to the modes on Call of Duty games, except you can physically walk around the whole map to collect weapons and repair barriers!

VR backpacks have already been introduced allowing players to walk around in a space. So it shouldn’t be long before we see a game like this in arcades.

In the meantime, maybe I will pluck up enough courage to play Resident Evil 7 through virtual reality.

That would be terrifyingly awesome!



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