All major enterprises across the globe are investing in virtual reality technologies. The growth of VR as a concept has emerged from being something fictitious to real and usable consumer products. One of these products which millennials prefer and use extensively is VR headsets. Many of you must be owning these devices to play VR games. But do you know for how long should you play VR games?
Anything in excess takes a toll on the body. In this article, let us take a look at the span for which novel uses of VR should last. Also, we shall review the possible consequences of the overuse of VR gaming technologies on the users’ body.
Easy To Get Carried Away
There is no doubt that there are exciting and surreal environments that you can experience through virtual reality devices. It is so ostensibly engaging that one can spend hours altogether, engrossed in the interactive virtual environment. Owing to this nature of VR technology, it can eventually turn into a low-key dependency that may be consequential for your health later.
Talking specifically about games, these are so interesting that they might propel anyone to overindulge in them. On top of that, ever since virtual reality games have hit the stores, the gaming industry dynamics have seen drastic changes.
The user dependence on VR games has increased significantly, which is alarming in itself. Most ardent gamers own an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive that hooks them onto VR games for hours. But, it is also crucial to understand the limit up to which you can use these devices.
Overuse- A Big Threat
Some of you might feel that it is all subjective because everyone has their threshold. While it may be true, it might not be a great idea. To remain connected to virtual reality games for extended periods jeopardizes your health.
There have been instances where gamers get hooked onto the VR games so much that they play these games for 36 hours straight. While it is all possible in terms of connectivity, no sane-minded person should ever think of pulling this off.
Consequences Of Prolonged VR Play
These consequences of overuse will trigger an alarm that may force you to think about your VR usage duration.
How long should you play VR games, will become a crucial question to answer then.
1. Decreased Spatial Awareness
Anyone who has access to a virtual reality device knows that the first step in using a VR device is to steer clear from any furniture, object, etc. while you are in VR.
It is because having access to Virtual Reality for even a short while impacts your mental ability of spatial awareness. Keeping a safe distance from furniture, cables, etc. is a pre-emptive measure for this possible outcome, for even the safest of durations.
Now imagine if you are a gamer who plays virtual reality games for an hour or longer, what can happen to this sense of awareness and identification of surroundings? It can turn out to be the most treacherous attack on your mental mechanisms.
2. Nausea And Dizziness
Virtual reality is all about producing three-dimensional imagery after tracking your movements. Virtual reality games take this to the next level, displaying graphics so vehemently that they may even lead to motion sickness.
In reality, the perception of an ongoing event depends on inputs from multiple sites such as the eyes, ears, muscles, joints, etc. These then help the brain in judging the situation adequately and acting with an anticipatory response.
When we fully immerse ourselves in the virtual reality games, only visual and auditory stimulus is available to the brain. But, the user cannot judge their position in space adequately, causing nausea and something called ‘cybersickness’.
3. Soreness And Loss Of Adjustment Power
When bright visuals are displayed in front of each eye separately through high-definition screens for a long time, eyes are bound to get sore. This soreness of eyes is also felt when we work on our computers for long durations.
We know now that the focusing power of the eye reduces considerably due to such damage.
For How Long Should You Play VR?
Talking about the duration of use of VR, uncertainty remains even amidst experts. The degree of damage from playing long hours of VR varies from case to case. But in general, all guides to Virtual Reality devices suggest that no more than 30 minutes of continuous usage should occur.
However, just complying with strict durations is not enough for preventing the complications resulting from prolonged VR use. The following measures should be followed to keep your VR play duration safe-
- Taking frequent breaks between gaming sessions is a must. You might not feel like it, but your body undergoes a lot of physical stress when you engage in long durations of VR playing.
- Always remember to keep the strength of visual signals under your comfort threshold. Turning on to a higher intensity to get a better feel of the game can harm you in multiple ways.
- Keeping track of the duration for which you are playing is crucial. As stated earlier, it is easy to lose track of time when you start enjoying the interactive environment created in a virtual reality device. Keep track of the duration for which you play the game so that you do not get carried away.
So as you can see, there is no specific answer to the question “how long you should play VR” games. But it is also clear that pushing your limits to dangerous levels can be a threat to your health.
You might come across reports of gamers playing for 36 hours at a stretch on VR devices. It might be possible for them, but not necessarily for you. So the ultimate takeaway for you should be that you must know your limits and play accordingly.
Virtual reality is a modern wonder developed by scientists. People should use it in a proper way. The technology is evolving every day but amidst the glitter of its wonders, identify the limits of your body, and use it accordingly. It is amazing, but still not organic.