I’ve never been into video games or known much about how they work. I’ve seen my little brother become obsessed with games whose names I can’t pronounce, while staying up late just to finish one last battle. With that being said, I wouldn’t call myself a gamer. But after using a virtual reality headset, I can say that I am a bit obsessed with this new world -- so much that it compelled me to write about my experience.
My first experience with VR was with the Horror VR app (the name alone should reveal what was about to ensue). Now, I love horror films. I enjoy the idea of being scared, as long as I can hold on to someone. I like darkness and I like a good jolt once in awhile - it keeps me on my toes. But when I watch a horror flick I know what to expect. With VR, I didn’t know what would come or how I would feel.
For this experience, I used the Merge 360 VR headset. The purple foam cover is lightweight and the head strap has stretching capabilities -- perfect for a woman with a big bun like mine. Since this headset is mobile compatible, you have to download a VR app and put the phone inside the headset. Once the app is open and the phone is inside, it’s time to begin the experience.
As I put on the headset, I thought "OK, this will be easy." The game started and I found myself in a dark hospital waiting room. I immediately forgot that I was actually sitting down at work. The screen started to move and I started moving (my mind at least). I hit a door...I ran into another one. I laughed at myself because in real life, it’s something that would happen to me. I couldn’t figure how to get out of the room so I physically stood up. It worked! After a few tumbles, I found myself in a long hallway. The hallway had multiple doors that I assumed led to somewhere. I figured I had to leave the building in order to start the actual game. I knew I was in search of something...but I couldn’t exactly figure out what.
And then it happened...I was found on the hallway by some type of monster face/figure. I can’t remember because I screamed immediately and took off the headset. It scared me and made me laugh at the same time. I was amazed at how real it felt and how scared I was for those few minutes.
After this experience, I walked away with one major takeaway. I’d like to emphasize how incredibly strong our minds are. I did not physically leave our building, but mentally I was stuck in a horror film. I took a few steps (physically) but mentally I took several tumbles and hit many doors. I am amazed at how my mind thought I was actually inside the hospital. I had a blast and want to purchase a headset of my own to use with my family when I go home for the holidays.