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VR gaming parties anyone? Answered

Last week I was "volunteered" by friend to help setting up a rented and empty factory building for what he called a VR gaming party.
My job was down to somehow get enough cables and power outlets from that rented industrial power box inside the building.
And well, organising about 800m of network cables with routers, switches and whatnots :(
After a hard days work and testing all we went for a well deserved beer.
Next day I pooped in to see how the computers are going and where things like tables, catering stations, portable toilets and so would go.
Well, the later ended outside for various reasons...
To my surprise all hardware was basically boxed in and then padded all around.
And although not even running at full capacity the computers already created a lot of heating the building.
(Mind you we getting into the summer here)
The most confusing thing was seeing several elevated work platforms with people creating a maze of wires about 2.5m above floor level.
Now it dawned on me that this "party" might slightly more than what I was used to in my gaming years.

Was curious enough to ask if I could jump in again when the actual thing starts and was invited for a quick test later that night.
Walking around in an empty building while thinking you are inside some racing game was a strange thing to say the least.
I learned why there where two people around me and my brain not always makes the right decisions without the sensory information provided by my ears matching what my eyes see.
A bit later when most players where set up and active I realised that this type of VR is not for me.
Ever seen those movies where someone has really bad halucinations and tries to fight against something that is not really there?
Yes, that is exactly how it looked like LOL
Sometimes all is in slow motion then suddenly they jump shoot their virtual guns and go for cover...
I guess if you are not in it then you just won't understand.
Watching the screens for a while I could at least find some relation to the action but it was like another world if you know what I mean ;)

What do you think will the near a slightly further future bring us in terms of virtual reality?
Will it affect us as badly as social media and mobile phones already do or will it bring some real benefits for everyone?
By the way: Virtual Reality Cars are already in the design visions!
Self driving cars that put you into another world while driving - why think you sit in the car if you can put the seat back and immerse yourself into a virtual beach?


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1 year ago

A win on the lottery here allowed me to buy an Oculus system for my Birthday this year. My intended use is as a headset for a flight simulator (in progress).
1. I was astonished by how immersive it is.
2. I was disappointed to find i could see the pixels in the head set.
3. If your prone to motion sickness (i am) then this perhaps either isn't the technology for you or your going to take a long time to get acclimatised
4. You really really need a fairly large dedicated place for it. Setting up, putting away is a pain.

Couple one with Xplane 11, a simple motion platform, basic controls and you have something that is as real as you can get without leaving the ground - your own aircraft for less than £1000.


Reply 1 year ago

I feel you Rick, I really do...
Was fortunate enough to test some VR systems on a show early this year.
My first decision was not to buy a PC based one.
Just no chance with my tiny rooms here and I hate running around with cables all the time.
My PC is still good enough for a lot of havy duty work but I also fail to see the requirement for a new graphics card.
As you said it is still al pixelated and to me it makes no sense to use a high end gaming PC just so I get tiny block in front of my eyes.

Sadly during these tests it was confirmed that my motion sickness is as bad as on a tiny boat.
As I was never really a fan of first person shooters and similar games I opted for the portable way of VR.
This way I can watch a nice 3D movie in bed or enjoy playing some games just sitting on my sofa.
So finding the right place is far easier for me here ;)

My main problem is the lack of root access to make things easier.
Although I don't have much need yet I found a way to stream PC based games to my headset.
Not just steam, basically any DirectX game with moderate hardware requirements compared to the Rift or similar systems - and still without any wires ;)
But if you are like me then you are never happy with what you got.
There is always something that needs change, an adjustment or in this case rights and access.
So lets see if I manage to be the first to root a VR system ROFL

A really big concern however is privacy, or better the violation of it.
Just so people know what they are for when signing up for a good VR system:
Over the past 10 or so years we have been coached to think that we need to share our lifes with basically everyone capable of getting our data.
Be it be legal, grey or just illegal means.
Smart assistants in our home help us to save time, social media is checked more often than the pantry during a mice infestation.
With all consumer VR systems controlled by the big data players it is no surprise that they try their best on us again.
Google is well know to provide what you need based on suggestion they make.
And what can be tracked and referenced will be.
FB goes a step further thanks to their huge social media presence.
You want to tell your friends and so on? Just add them to your list.
Link your payment options while at it because not much good is available for free anyway.
And before you can even begin you need another mobile device to set it all up.
I had to go through some trickery to at least try to fool the think into thinking I am not actually placed where I am :(
FB gets not just your bank details but also your real address with phone and all.
Unless of course you don't want any warranty for your costly toy and get it from unsupported sources and never register it or buy apps.
I am starting to hate the US way of thinking we need someone to control what we do and tell us what we need while totally restricting basic privacy rights :(