5 WAYS TO ENJOY VR THAT AREN'T VIDEO GAMES

By Stephen Libbey

5 ways to enjoy VR that aren't video games

Virtual reality is a reality which is no longer virtual. The headsets are now in the hands of consumers, and while they are not available at the corner store quite yet, products like the Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive are seeing the strongest support that any product of its kind have ever seen. While this cutting edge of computer technology is, as is normally the case, being used to play video games, there's also some great potential for VR in other parts of the world to do things that could not previously be done. Here are are just a few of the ideas.

Tourism

Travel is fun. It's wonderful to go someplace that you've never been and see things that you've never seen. But travel is also expensive, and it takes time. Some of us drastically lacking in money, or time, or both. Virtual reality could fix this problem. Imagine being able to pilot a drone via VR over the Grand Canyon, or stand on top of the Empire State Building and feeling like you're really there.

Virtual tourism won't ever replace the real thing to be sure, but for those who might never gain an opportunity to truly be there, or those who just want to be there now and not wait, there will certainly be a market for it. Sometimes you just need to see the fireworks at Disneyland at night after a long day of work, and VR makes it possible without the cost of travel.

Conventions/Live Events

We've all missed out on that concert, convention, or other event because tickets sold out before we could get to them. So what if you could still see it up close? Again, as with climbing the Eiffel Tower, being there in person would still be better, but seeing it is better than not. And let's face it: concert promoters and convention organizers would love to sell more tickets, so this way they can (in the virtual sense). The organization takes more income and more fans get an experience that is at least somewhat like being there. VR tickets to the Super Bowl would be cheaper than the real thing too, so if money is the reason you can't attend in person, VR has you covered.

Gear VR

Therapy

Countless of people suffer from crippling phobias that make them unable to deal with the outside world, or at best have significant difficulty doing so. Virtual reality could be a tool for helping people begin to cope with psychological problem. It can help you interact with people and, at least to some extent, just deal with being outside. It's a step that isn't available to modern medicine today that might be of great value to people working on processing trauma.

VR can simulate things in ways that few other techniques would be able to, while still allowing the individual to inhabit a safe space.

Read more about VR therapy techniques on GameCrate.

Architecture/Design

While it's possible to create buildings or landscapes in three dimensions in computer design programs, imagine what you could experience if you could actually walk through them in virtual reality. Designers and architects could create their ideas in VR and the people they're trying to sell their ideas to could get a near real-life look at the different ideas planned for their projects.

VR has the potential to allow for people to see the functionality of a design, not simply its aesthetics. This can be a benefit on both sides of the equation, as it can help a designer explain their ideas to people who may have trouble visualizing, and it can help the designer find new ideas by looking at their own work in new ways.

Architecture/Design

Art

Whether or not you've experienced VR, you're probably familiar with Tiltbrush. It's the VR painting program available for the HTC Vive. It allows you to paint or draw within a 3D VR space. Now imagine an entire art museum done in this way!

In VR, painting no longer has to be two dimensional. Now, it's essentially sculpture. As a strange mix of the two it's an art form that doesn't really fall into either category. This allows for the creation of an entirely new field of art, and even if you're not the artistic type, you will need the VR experience in order to truly appreciate the art created by others. Who will create the art in the world's first virtual art gallery?

Virtual reality is a technology capable of changing the world. It only takes somebody's ideas to make that happen.

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