how close to virtual reality in games?


Standard Member
with the release of the Wii and its revolutionary controls it seems to me its a small step closer to what i think is the holy grail of gaming,ive played games since zx81 days and even then i imagined the day when i would be able to play a game where you feel immersed in it.with wii,s new control system could the next thing possibly be some kind of helmet where the screen covers your peripheral vision and when you turn your head you are looking around within the game world?
I think that would be truly great ,imagine the frights you would get in some kind of survival horror type game.


Established Member
yes it's all looking very promising, but think we've got a way to go yet....

i have the new 'stuff' magazine on my desk at work. I only skimmed thru but i'm sure it said next year philips are announcing their 3D televsions, the image used in the article was obviously photoshop'd.

Now i'm no expert, but I predict 3d tv will be the big thing between 2010 and 2020 and then after that they'll have games that are undistinguishable from real life. Scary!


Outstanding Member
To be honest the whole virtual reality thing is pretty dependant on photorealistic graphics as much as innovative control systems. Virtual reality is all about creating a world that is virtually real as the name suggests and I guess the feeling of reality is conveyed by what you see as well as how you interact. Other stuff like feedback from the world around (be it force, temperature, smell, audio etc.) would also improve the level of realism.

I feel controllers like that on the Wii go some way to adding a level of realism to controls (in that you swing a racket, golf club, sword etc. in a similar fashion to how you would in reality) but naturally the graphical realism isn't there and I guess the illusion is always broken when watching graphics (no matter how good they are) on a 2D screen.

That said, is VR the way to go or are developments which improve accessability and fun levels of games (such as the Wii) a better approach. Nintendo have moved completely away from visual realism but have moved towards a system that looks to recreate reality in terms of interaction. I guess people are happy (having grown up with cartoons, comics etc.) to accept non realistic graphical interpretations, but less happy to learn non intuitive controls systems like joypads which replace everyday actions with pressing a pad or pushing a stick and pressing a combination of buttons. Video game graphics have never been the barrier (as we all watch cartoons and video game graphics are no less alien than them) but the control systems have meaning that new gamers (and in some cases people who have grown up with games) get turned off by 10 button joypads with 2 sticks and a D-Pad! I'm sure flying an aircraft isn't much more complex than trying to play some games!

The bottom line is that if you have to think about a control or learn a set of controls in a game then they are not intuitive. When you play tennis in real life you don't have to read a manual to find out which button does a top spin, lob etc. it's all down to how you swing the racket and the angle of the racket head.

So in conclusion to my ramblings, Nintendo have indeed taken a large step towards a level of "virtual reality" and even though Virtual Tennis 3 on the PS3/360 may look amazing, it's nothing like playing real tennis. In contrast, Nintendo's Wii Sports Tennis game is basic in many respects (basic graphics, you don't even move your player) but is a far more realistic interpretation of Tennis than VT3 or any other tennis game that has come before. It captures part of the fun of real tennis and gives an insight of how good the next version of Mario Tennis (which would use the nunchuk to control the player) could be on the Wii. I'd say that the Wii is currently the closest thing we can buy to this "Holy Grail" of VR. In my view it is the control and physical interaction side of things that's the hardest bit to get right as graphics are not that far off. Nintendo really seem to be on the right track with the Wiimote and hopefully they will go on to develop this side of gaming even further.:)


Standard Member
Yes maybe my point on virtual reality should have been worded differently,
im thinking some kind of headset which involves some type of (hopefully hi def)screen that covers your whole field of vision and when you turn your head you are looking around within the game world.
add positional sound to the headset and i think this would be amazing,probably the closest i will get to vr in my lifetime i think
I can see this technology not being too far off i hope.


Moderator/Games Reviewer
Do we really want virtual reality?

If were taking about virtual reality as a game world that you "play" in which can be visually identical to the real world is that something you really want to play? What about FPS's do you wanna play COD13 in virtual reality and feel like your actually fighting WW2? PGR9? do you want to experience the high speed crash for real? GTA12? do you actually want to shoot people on the street?

Regardless of whether we can technically acheive VR, i doubt we can achieve a healthy and morally correct way to implement a game for it. Look at the press today a game like GTA or Bully comes out and they scream that kids are being trained for violence and crime, and these games are nowhere near the realism your talking about. Thats why sensible people realise thats todays games (assuming your not a psycho to begin with) aren't completely responsible for the crimes laid against them.

But with games so close to realism at what point does the normal person realise the difference between the two? After playing the D-Day landings would people have shell shock and PTS? Would the presses worst nightmare of a murder simulator finally be true? Will peoples driving ability/judgement be imparied because of thier experience in PGR9 VR?

Im as intrigued as the next person about how good graphics can get, but at the end of the day games are like the rest of my entertainment, escapism, basically getting as far away from reality and having as much fun as possible.


Outstanding Member
Indeed Guns, some very good points made there. If things do become too real then, like you say, people could start experiencing the downsides that they do in real life (i.e. shell shock from a WW2 game). Some games could tip some people over the edge, leaving them mentally damaged and unsure of what reality is. We could see a huge rise in mental illness as a result.

People could start experiencing real trauma (from say being part of a realistic car crash, being shot out of the skies or being run through with a sword!) and who knows how the brain will react to such realism! The body will be producing large amounts of adrenaline (I find it already does now in some games) to activate the fight or flight responses.

I fear that video games will one day have to become very heavily regulated as if they become so realistic to be almost indefinable along side reality then their effects on the human body and mind could become stronger than class A drugs!


Ex Member
I guess near full immersion will be when flexible screen technology can support a large size 'canvas' that can be clipped into a circular shape with the player stood in the middle of it ie wherever you look,you are in the gaming world and also with the 'moving paving stones' that were shown on the series before last of the gadget show being able to support fast movement.there was a group of 'stones' and as you walked in one direction,the stone at the back of the group moves round to the front so you get the feeling of proper walking in any direction.they were very early prototypes but the basic idea was clear.when and if these 2 peripherals are universally adopted,immersion,particularly in fps with the addition of a light gun will be almost complete.

also - how long until a VR waistcoat so you feel the gunshots ?!

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