12.06.13

Just because virtual reality can take us to GTA 4 doesn't mean it should

Virtual reality continues to show that man will go to great lengths to supplant himself inside the world of Grand Theft Auto. A batshit but impressive tech demo of one devoted man strapped into every virtual reality peripheral there is makes that evident. In the video, he’s using a locomotion device called the Virtualizer to sit on a park bench in Liberty City, punch out a pedestrian, and run away.

This makes us wonder if our current crop of virtual game environments are places we really want to visit in virtual reality. I was kind of hoping for a fusion of Fraggle Rock and Inception, myself. We’ve already seen the difficulties of adapting VR to the first-person shooter. They move much faster than we actually do, and playing them is like deep sea fishing on choppy waters: there’s a good possibility you’ll get sick. Also important: they’re filled with realistic violence that we are accustomed to when viewing it from the detached perspective of a screen, but could be too close for comfort when virtually swimming in it. 

When I spoke to the guys at Oculus Rift about which games are best for the system, they were quick to insist that the games that work best with their system haven’t been invented yet. That’s what we’re excited for. Although we wouldn't mind taking a stroll in the park.