Now that virtual reality is becoming more acceptable and cheaper to the public, more people are able to own their own headsets for gaming and entertainment purposes. Now that more private users are joining the world of VR, people are starting to question the positive and negative effect technology will have on peoples’ lives. Like any new form of media, people have mixed feelings about it and want to learn more before investing in a headset of their own.
The immersive nature of virtual reality can be addictive, especially for those who spend large amounts of time gaming. After taking the headset off, gaming addicts may be left with intense feelings of anxiety and tension because they feel as though the virtual world is more realistic than the real world.
Researchers have learned that using VR is a great way to teach empathy and compassion towards people. There are apps available on a variety of headsets where people can put themselves in the shoes of somebody else and understand their experiences. Researchers and organizations have created entertainment options where players are put in the heads of animals about to go off to the slaughterhouse, people struggling to make rent, and even coral reefs about to be destroyed. Research has shown that people tended to be more empathetic to other experiences after seeing what it was like firsthand.
Your brain starts to panic after taking the headset off because your eyes are trained to expect a scene to move when it’s not actually moving at all. Users often comment that after playing on their headset, they experienced brain/hand dissociation, especially among new users. After spending so much time escaping into a virtual world, users sometimes struggle with what to do with themselves after they take the headset off.
Mental health professionals have long since understood the benefits virtual reality can have on patients. Using exposure-based therapy, people struggling with anxiety, depression, and PTSD can don a headset and find themselves in a virtual world. In this world, they can test their limits and get exposed to potential triggers in a healthy way while a professional is on standby to help them work through their thoughts. It can also be used to test out new therapy techniques in a safe environment.
The longer you stare at a TV or computer screen, the more strained your eye muscles can get, even after only a short time. This is especially clear with VR headsets, where the screen is practically right in front of your eyes which can cause intense amounts of strain. Designers have yet to come up with a way to mimic the wide-angle view of vision, so eye soreness is common.
Virtual reality has been used by businesses and organizations for years to train employees to be more productive. It’s a great way to put people in immersive environments that feel real and allow them to make mistakes in a way that won’t hurt or affect people. Now that it’s becoming a part of many households, there have been plenty of games and applications designed to improve memory and learning.