Book design by Robbert Wagtelenberg
17-04-2014 mag 8 /

article/

How to 'VR' a videogame

Abstract: 

Many game fanatics have been anxiously waiting for truly immersive virtual reality gaming experiences for a long time. Today, a lot of faith has been put in the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that is supposed to facilitate these immersive gaming experiences by merging the spheres of game design and virtual reality technology.

This paper will argue that it is naïve to think that these two spheres can effortlessly merge. Today’s video games are designed with a flat screen in mind, but what if the screen is attached to the player’s face? In order to answer this question, first, this paper will analyse the issues that arise when virtual reality technology tries to merge with today’s video game design. Second, this paper will demonstrate and discuss a chart that clearly illustrates many of the pitfalls of virtual reality gaming on the level of hardware and software design (mechanics), run-time behaviours (dynamics), and emotional responses of the player (aesthetics). This chart is useful for video game designers who want to work with virtual reality technology. Third and finally, this paper will analyse and interpret the possible solutions to the pitfalls of virtual reality gaming and discuss its possible future.