It’s fascinating how virtual reality trends in recent years have paved the way for a reimagined future for all kinds of businesses. The mere fact that you can put on a VR headset and transport yourself to anywhere without budging already screams limitless possibilities.
Decades ago, virtual technologies cost a fortune and were only assigned to certain scientific practices as well as military simulations. It was only with the sudden release of consumer VR headsets like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and the PlayStation VR that companies called for an innovation in their current practices. According to a survey published by Education Technology, three quarters of people believe that VR will positively impact their lives.
Nowadays, you can see virtual reality being marketed in different industries, the gaming sector most especially. Since video games are an interactive medium that lets you escape to alternate worlds, incorporating virtual reality makes sense. Although, sometimes, depending on the game’s narrative, virtual reality can be a hit or miss.
A writer for TechRadar shared her thoughts on playing Rise of the Tomb Raider in virtual reality. She said that virtual reality brought a different experience to the game’s story elements. Since you literally play through the eyes of the protagonist Lara Croft, some emotional scenes weren’t as impactful, compared to when you see a visibly shaken Lara Croft onscreen.
For context, Tomb Raider was one of those 20-year-old classic games that long-time gamers hold dear to their hearts. The game’s reboot in 2013 made it an even bigger franchise, because it appealed to a new generation of gamers. Because of its widespread success, several other companies have adapted their signature games – partnering with the franchise because of its notoriety among gaming circles. For instance, Slingo launched a Tomb Raider-themed slot game to appeal to fans of the franchise. Similarly, Warner Bros. recently released a trailer for the live-action adaptation of the 2013 version of Tomb Raider, with the intent of introducing it to a much more mainstream audience. Since many fans have emotions attached to Lara Croft, who is now a household name, it was imperative for developers to provide other innovative ways for audiences to connect with her better.
The inclusion of virtual reality was one such method. But as previously indicated, good game design as well as a VR-friendly narrative would be integral.
Virtual reality is still in its infancy anyway, as companies are still exploring ways to utilize it. Aside from games, the Internet seems to be the next biggest beneficiary of this technology.
Google has just announced a new feature where you can browse the web through virtual reality (VR). Now most websites rely heavily on text, so it doesn’t seem very exciting to visit them in virtual reality. But other web pages will definitely take advantage. This new feature poses great opportunities for browser video games, hotels and real estate websites.
Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg made headlines in 2014 when he acquired the Oculus for 2 billion dollars. He noted in a Facebook post, ”This is a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life.” Zuckerberg’s aim is bring virtual reality to a more personal and social level. Just imagine a social media platform that gives an organic experience. Instead of browsing through your friends’ photos of their travels, you can be present with them, albeit virtually.
With Google and Facebook both investing in VR, it seems like the Internet is gradually entering a virtual reality revolution. Next thing we know, we’ll have virtual online dinner parties with relatives stationed all over the world.
The future is indeed bright.