The main draw of VR gaming is its ability to place people in a whole new world, one that offers levels of immersion well beyond that of many traditional video games.
But the only problem tends to be the technology and the controls: You can only render so much, so fast given current tech and people can only interact with their virtual worlds to a limited degree because of the conventions of physical controllers.
We’ve seen efforts at overcoming this, from promises of smell in VR games to treadmills that allow for movement.
Yet these are all measures that rely, again, on technology to advance at a rate faster than is typically available at the consumer level.
One area that is showing bright promise, so much so that it could be the future of VR gaming, is arena-based virtual reality experiences.
These venues are kind of like a combination of an arcade and an escape room. They’re centered on a video game, naturally, but offer physical space and elements to interact with that are typically beyond a consumer-grade VR headset.
The company that is hoping to make that happen is called MassVR. Their schtick is that not only should VR gaming be immersive, but also an experience that is shared with other players or in a communal space.
Basically, the company has developed a proprietary gaming experience that takes advantage of real-world spaces and transforms them into VR locales. How this basically works is that the company’s tech scales to the warehouse space and places in-game markers as to what should be going on in that particular area of the building. One point in the building could be designated as a ledge to jump off of as in the example given by Daily Dot or even a wall that you have to climb within the virtual world.
The advantage of this approach is that it makes the physical aspect of VR immersion that much more accessible to a wide audience and it turns VR into a kind of spectator sport. MassVR has tons of cool ideas planned for the future of their tech and, given their business pitch, it is possible you could see a venue using it near you in the future.
Of course, MassVR would be one of many different legs of the VR industry, the others being headsets both tethered and untethered. There’s little doubt that graphical fidelity and the ability of programmers to take advantage of this will only increase with time, but the physical immersion of VR is a different problem entirely. Treadmills and innovative controls are great half measures, but what will really be the breakthrough for the segment? It could be MassVR. So many analysts are expecting VR to take the trajectory of console video games and focus on the consumer.
But what if VR somehow brings back the arcades of yesterday? If MassVR has their way, this is a reality that could happen.