How VR Is Changing Gaming


The world of virtual reality is growing in leaps and bounds, with VR gaming becoming more popular with every passing year. This is hardly surprising – who wouldn’t want to upgrade their run-of-the-mill 2D adventure into a thrilling immersive experience?

VR Gaming – What Is It? 

While the potentials of virtual reality were being explored in the late ‘60s, the first consumer-grade VR headset only became readily available around 2016. 

The Oculus Rift CV1 offered video gamers a new level of immersion, incorporating features like head and positional tracking, with integrated headphones for an improved interactive experience. 

Eight years on, and VR has become an established player in the gaming gadget world and greater gaming industry. Fans can now enjoy a totally immersive experience, navigating and interacting with entities in a 3D setting. 

VR Gaming – Gear And Accessories 

VR experiences rely on hardware such as headsets to transport gamers into the game’s almost-real universe. These gadgets allow people to interact with their environment more intuitively through enhanced audio and graphics.

  • Headsets

From the launch of the very earliest VR headset to the most recent release, VR game developers have created increasingly sophisticated devices to provide players with an unbeatable experience. 

Also known as a stereoscopic head-mounted display or HMD, a virtual reality headset is the most important accessory for VR gamers. While run-of-the-mill computer and video games offer players a 2D experience, VR gear uses stereoscopic displays, stereo sound, and various tracking sensors to make the game come alive. 

You’re no longer on the outside looking in, but in the thick of the action. 

Players can choose from a variety of devices, including standalone, tethered, mobile, and hybrid headsets. More advanced headsets enable 6 degrees of freedom, with the capability to track a user’s rotation and stance/position. 

  • Motion controllers

Increasingly sophisticated motion controllers work in conjunction with immersive headsets to allow players to interact with their virtual surroundings. Haptic technology informs the controller of the user’s movements, including the force of such movements and their direction. 

Some classic arcade games used haptic feedback to simulate the feeling of a car or motorbike skidding out of control, for example. These days, full-body suits (or haptic vests) are being developed for an even more realistic experience.

  • Gloves

Gloves, like motion controllers, convey the movements and pressure of a player’s hands to the VR device.

Take an example: your character opens a locked chest and removes a heavy book. Haptic technology in the gloves creates vibrations to simulate the grating of the rusted hinges and the weight of the dusty book. 

VR gloves can replace motion controllers, although some players find them restrictive.

  • Earbuds 

Newer headsets have built-in speakers that enhance the gaming experience, taking immersion to a whole new level. 3D spatial audio technology alters sounds as a user moves. Turning your head in a particular direction results in a change of perception; a noise becoming softer or louder, for example. This means when you’re playing at a site like Big Dollar, it can feel like you’re in a real casino, or when you’re in a battle game you can hear your enemies getting closer or further away.

What can VR gaming do that ordinary gaming couldn’t? 

There are many things that VR brings to the table that ordinary gaming doesn’t. 


The most significant improvement VR has brought to video games is the immersive experience that allows players to interact with their (virtual) environment. A decade ago, this would not have been possible – or at least not to the extent it is now. 

Anyone browsing YouTube will have seen the hundreds of clips of people with VR headsets running headlong into their sitting room wall. Apart from being entertaining, these videos are an excellent demonstration of exactly how real a VR game feels. 

Improved interactivity

VR doesn’t only allow players to interact with their virtual surroundings intuitively, but also enables them to interact with one another for a more satisfying multiplayer experience. Superior headsets with built-in microphones and noise-cancelling capabilities take interactions up a notch. 

Different Applications Other Than Gaming 

The use of virtual reality isn’t confined to entertainment. Immersion in a virtual environment gives people in many industries the opportunity to develop new skills. 

Medical students can be trained to perform procedures in a digital space before applying their skills in a face-to-face setting.

Other applications include:

  • Fitness games to encourage physical activity
  • Treating phobias through exposure to triggers in a virtual environment

Moving Forward

How will VR continue to affect gaming? While the use of VR in the gaming industry is a massive improvement in many ways, not everyone is welcoming it with open arms. Issues like addiction, a sedentary lifestyle, and social isolation concern consumers and industry critics.

Generation Alpha will likely grow up considering VR games the norm. Entertainment will become increasingly virtual, and students will likely supplement their theoretical learning with practical VR technology. 

Game developers have plenty to look forward to. The speedy evolution of VR technology means they’ll have to push the boundaries when it comes to creativity and innovation. With new software and hardware being released every week, they have no choice but to go with the flow and develop immersive games in every genre imaginable. 

The demand for new games will continue to grow as technology advances, as will the demand for upgraded hardware, such as headsets and equipment with haptic feedback. Gamers who don’t like wearing gloves will soon be able to take their pick out of a dozen or more products that promise an improved immersive experience – and are so comfortable that they don’t know they’re wearing gloves at all.

There are many concerns, of course, that are unlikely to dissipate any time soon, such as the potential for addiction and the enduring theory that video games cause players to become violent. Critics of games will home in on first-person shooter offerings, especially in light of the continued threat of gun violence and school shootings plaguing the US.

An Exciting Future

VR has transformed the world of gaming in a myriad of ways, pulling players into the heart of the action, whether they’re into sci-fi or racing. It is abundantly clear that virtual reality will continue to shape the gaming industry over the coming decades, giving consumers plenty to look forward to. 


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