Right now my husband and his sister are upstairs playing Raw Data. Raw Data is a VR game where you fight corrupted robots. This is his sister’s first time in virtual reality. She’s using my HTC Vive.
I hear my husband walking her through how to select different weapons and what buttons to press to teleport. He’s watching what she sees on the computer monitor while she battles robots.
There’s silence, then a loud THUD. My husband yells, “look out behind you!” and his sister shouts in surprise.
“Use your teleport to move behind the barrier”, my husband says.
It sounds like she made it to safety.
This is what I see as social VR. It’s not strangers in the metaverse. It’s friends and family watching each other play games and helping them walk through the nuances of virtual reality.
When I watch my friends in VR I wish I had the following options:
- Headphones hooked up to hear what they are hearing. Right now we can only watch the computer screen. Hearing what they are hearing will help us help them play.
- A mic or way to to talk to them that will go to their headphones instead of shouting over the game.
Basically, I want to be in VR with them but at this point it’s expensive enough to get one headset, let alone two (don’t worry, the prices are dropping). I don’t know of a way for two people to play a VR game together locally. Think, an old school LAN party.
Now my husband is walking his sister through the next attack type. Sure, she could figure it out by playing the game, but isn’t it easier to have someone explain it to you who has already figured it out?
This is what I enjoy about virtual reality, seeing my friends and family experience it for the first time. I love how they melt into the virtual worlds and laugh together at the virtual mishaps that happen along the way.
Do you play VR games? What do you think about Social VR? Let me know in the comments below!