Although it’s no longer new, VR tech is still in its infancy and has a lot of room for growth. One thing we can say for sure is that virtual reality tech is becoming increasingly prevalent and advanced, which is of course a good thing. It is entirely possible that one day we can get equipment capable of achieving what we saw in the movies like Ready Player One.
Currently, VR is a decent form of entertainment, and it can also be used for marketing purposes. Virtual tourism, virtual real estate and shopping, in general, are no longer just concepts on paper. Here we will explore how VR is changing our entertainment, and discuss what we can expect.
VR is all about increasing immersion which definitely comes in handy when you want to experience a story, like the one in the movie. Right now these movies rely on more than just a VR headset, the viewer seat and environment are also modified in order to enhance the bodily sensations that are happening in the story, like a bumpy ride, snowy surface, rain etc.
That being said these are not really full movies, but rather short experiences focused on showing us what is possible with VR tech. Truth be told, it would be hard to design a meaningful 90 minutes movie that is also focused on the viewer unless viewers themselves take a role of a mute character with no agency that also experiences the story happening around them. Maybe it could be a good medium to tell a tale of a patient who is maybe mute and paralyzed and simply has to watch the events unfold.
In other words, the tech needs to be used to create entertainment that makes sense for the VR environment, and we should not create VR experiences just because we can.
Interactive games are really popular and well-received, so using VR to once again increase player immersion is a good thing. We are already using keyboards, joypads, TV sets and monitors to be connected with our in-game characters or virtual avatars. With VR we are sort of a bit closer to them which is definitely a step forward in this form of entertainment.
However, games that we have played for decades were designed with the controller in mind.
Our capability for making controllers that respond to our body movement is still clunky at best, as there are multiple Kinect games that just didn’t stick even if they sound good on paper. Still, there are adventure games that do not require agile movement and that look amazing with VR. If you are a detective on a crime scene and need to examine all the details or interact with the environment, VR would be a great approach to such a story.
Finally, audiobooks can definitely be enhanced with the use of VR. This is a lot easier than making a whole movie or a video game, and there is no reason why any book lover would not appreciate it. Basically, you get to read the book or just follow the narration in a similar setting as the characters in the story. There is still room for your imagination as you would only hear birds chirping or the sound of running water, or any other environmental noises that are present in the scene. This does not distract you from reading, it can even help you get more into the narrative.