Health concerns surrounding virtual reality exposure are very real. Without proper research, we may never know how our bodies respond to this new technology. It seems there are quite a few things to worry about when dealing with extended VR exposure. It will be different for every individual user, although a lot of complaints seemingly affect most VR users right now.
VR Effects on the Human Body
No one will be surprised to learn the transition from the virtual world back to the real world can be quite disorienting. It seems prolonged exposure to VR skews out spatial awareness, a phenomenon that has been documented quite thoroughly. It is pertinent users of full-room VR headsets clear their play area first and foremost. A lot of injuries have happened to people not taking these precautions to heart.
However, once the VR headset is put down, the spatial awareness issue remains. It seems a lot of users struggle to distinguish between objects in the world and those in VR. This is not a fun ordeal by any means, and prolonged exposure to VR environments will only make this problem worse. So far, no manufacturer has come up with a solution in this regard, yet we can only hope things improve from here on out.
Seizures are also a very real problem to contend with. As we have seen during a recent VRChat hangout, one of the players effectively suffered from a seizure in the real world while wearing a VR headset. Thankfully, the individual survived the ordeal and was able to resume play, yet it creates a very scary situation for all bystanders. Even people who never suffered from a seizure before can suffer from one after using a VR headset for longer periods. Quite scary, to say the least.
Other ordeals range from eyesore to nausea, dizziness, and even trouble concentrating for long periods of time. It is evident our eyes struggle with the concept of adjusting and refocusing through VR headsets and back. This has been well-documented over the years as well, and there isn’t much to be done about it right now. With the hardware improving over time, eye strain should become far less of an issue in the future.
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