Virtual Reality becoming more than a game

Virtual reality is an up and coming technology that is becoming more refined and is now being marketed to the masses

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Virtual reality is an up and coming technology in the digital world as it is becoming more refined and is now being marketed to the masses

A few years ago, it was said that virtual reality (VR) was only for playing games. This point of view, however, is gradually changing as the benefits of virtual reality are being discovered from scientists and manufacturers to filmmakers, artists, doctors, surgeons and even teachers and advertisers.

VR in medicine

Virtual reality is already helping doctors to both develop and perfect new surgical techniques as well as practise before performing the operations for real. The diagnostic process is also being augmented by virtual reality by helping doctors get a perspective that either would not normally be possible or would involve exploratory surgery.

But it isn’t only in the physical world that virtual reality has practical applications: it is being used in the treatment of psychological problems such as phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders, and has the potential to make significant changes to the way we understand and treat mental illnesses.

Virtual reality gaming

Ubisoft’s Werewolves Within is a VR game where players take on the roles of villagers gathered around a table to try to deduce who amongst them is a werewolf. The physical movements of players are transferred to the in-game avatars, offering greater immersion than playing a regular PC or console game; it’s more akin to sitting around a poker table or playing a board game with friends. The iGaming or online casino industry has pounced on immersive gaming recently too. For instance, many of the sites listed at CasinoGames.ca, such as Party Poker and Rizk, have “live” versions of classic table games, featuring a human croupier on webcam. Their casino games can be tried risk-free too, without the need for a deposit. Virtual reality roulette, though still in the early stages of development, is already creating a stir in the gaming industry and is a great example of the type of immersion we can expect to see in the future of iGaming.

Forensic reconstruction

Virtual reality is no stranger to the courtroom, where it can be used to create a virtual reconstruction of the crime scene, both for the purposes of solving the crime and providing evidence in court. In 1992, the first VR-like experience was used in the lawsuit Stevenson vs Honda. The reconstruction detailed the scene of the accident from the perspective of the rider showing the speed he was travelling at and the rough terrain he was riding over. In this case, the jury concluded that the rider was travelling too fast for the conditions. Since then, being able to create a virtual reconstruction of a crime has proven an invaluable tool when it comes to investigating a variety of different types of crime scenes, from the potentially hazardous to the time-sensitive.

There is no doubt that virtual reality is an up and coming technology in the digital world as it is becoming more refined and is now being marketed to the masses. We can expect virtual reality to become more affordable in the future for both businesses and consumers as more products are developed and more uses are found for virtual reality. It won’t just happen on its own though; just like photography, radio, television, and the internet, virtual reality needs its pioneers. Those who adopt and embrace this fledgling technology can make it a part of our everyday lives.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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