Disadvantages of Virtual Reality

Pros and Cons of Virtual Reality

With its technology advancing continuously, what are the biggest disadvantages of virtual reality?

It is obvious, that virtual reality is a strong trend in modern technology and that it’s development is going to bring us some advantages in the areas of gaming, but also interactive media in general. It can be more immersive than any other screen device and it will be able to generate the most intense gaming experiences.

But you all probably know that, which is why I don’t want to write about its advantages, but rather about possible or probable disadvantages of virtual reality. I have to say that I am by far not an expert on this field, but I still think that my thoughts may prove valid.

When thinking about the greatest disadvantages of virtual reality, the first thing that comes to my mind is the pure impracticality of virtual reality technology.

For a single interaction experience or an intense gaming session it might be alright to make sure the room is sufficiently spacious and tidy, put on your headphones and the virtual reality device, calibrate the device, take some tracking devices or something for your hands, or even a complete tracking suit, calibrate it, then start the game and start playing. But this is not something that could work for the mass market or for everyday’s situations, I believe. Gaming is not always supposed to be the one task a player is concentrated on, and interactive media are supposed to be interacted with naturally, not in this very technical and artificial kind of way. I conclude, that one of the biggest disadvantages of virtual reality as we know it, is that it does not fulfil the needs of the people it is being made for. But this could change with the technology becoming more advanced in the future, so it is at the moment only a disadvantage that applies to the current state of virtual reality technology. As the devices will get easier to use and lighter and smaller, problems like these might fade away over time.

Can Virtual Reality Be the Future?

But there are more disadvantages of virtual reality, and there is one in particular I want to talk about: I think, that virtual reality is neither the technology we need, nor the technology we want, in the long run.

For a certain period of time, we might simply be impressed by this new technology and new kinds of experiences, but the interest will not stay forever. At some point, we might start to ask the question, wether we even want to fully escape our reality, or if the world we are living in might not be such a bad place after all. Maybe we just don’t want to have to enter another world and leave everything we like about this one behind, our friends and the places we call our home, to experience technology and games and media.

Virtual reality might be the first step, but what has to follow is what I like to call Real Virtuality, which means that the virtual elements have to come into our reality, so that we don’t have to leave it to get see them. This would allow natural interaction with virtual media in the same rooms we are living in, creating a much more pleasing experience in everyday’s media interaction.

Virtual reality might be the best we can do for now, and even later it might be a very special immersive medium, partially replacing escapist books or games, but the disadvantages of virtual reality are going to prevent it from being the future of media interaction and gaming…

At least, that is what I think. What do you think about all of this, is virtual reality going to be a big part of our future?

2017-01-14T00:42:52+00:00 May 7th, 2016|Technology|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Tom May 7, 2016 at 22:59 - Reply

    Wow, there are some great thoughts in this!
    I think that, if we look at current movie productions by big names like Marvel, we can see the dream of Real Virtuality already implemented in them (see the Iron Man movies with the touchable/interactive holograms, for example).

    • Jonas May 8, 2016 at 00:15 - Reply

      Thanks! Yes, but isn’t that rather a kind of augmented reality?

      • Tom May 8, 2016 at 19:30 - Reply

        After reading into the topic a little bit further (and skimming through your article again), I can say: Yes, the movies mostly portrait augmented reality, where information is embedded in our world.
        Some scenes, though, like Tony Stark throwing a piece of virtual waste into a virtual dartboard, seem to be going a step further: They’re not only displaying information, but they create virtual objects in our reality that actually react to our actions.
        That’s what Real Virtuality is all about, isn’t it?

        • Jonas May 8, 2016 at 22:29 - Reply

          At least in the way I would understand Real Virtuality. I am not sure on how the term is usually being used, but to me, that is, what it should mean 😉

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