"VR" by (CC BY 2.0)

Virtual reality headsets are set to become the next big thing. Each year technology experts gather the best and brightest of the industry to analyze the trends for the coming year. The last couple of years have seen the year of smartphones, the year of mobile devices and the year of the “connected cars”. This year has been predicted to be the year of VR as more and more money is raised for companies to create crowd pleasing titles to entice users to jump into the world of VR. VR has drastically changed the video gaming landscape and has set game developers around the world pushing for the best technology and best games that companies can create. 

VR sales around the world have been slowly climbing, and it’s in part due to new titles that are being published. The most popular game titles are the ones that put the player in either the most life-like simulations like The Climb for the Oculus Rift, Star Trek: Bridge Crew for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift or I Expect You to Die for the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. These games place you in life-like situations that allow you to play out situations you would otherwise try to avoid, like defusing a bomb or climbing a difficult mountain pass. The force the players to play out situations that feel more like real life than other cartoon or goofy games that focus on entertainment. But what if you don’t have a couple hundred dollars to spend on a new gaming console but still want to experience stimulations with lifelike qualities? 

There are a variety of games that can offer exceptional gameplay and realistic qualities that you might not feel like you’re playing a video game. Second Life by Linden Research, Inc. is an online MMO RPG that offers players a literal “second life” where you can play as yourself or as any other creature on earth. If you don’t have the time to sink into Second Life, participating in a live casino like Mr. Smith can simulate the feeling of playing in a casino without actually leaving your house, thanks to the live-streamed interactivity which allows players to play with a real dealer – an experience set to take the leap to VR in the near future. If you card games aren’t something your cup of tea and you’d like to experience the feeling of virtual reality without the price tag, Watch Dogs 2 is a great alternative. Watch Dogs 2 transports the player to San Francisco to become Marcus Holloway fight against an AI. It’s a realistic game that allows players to play as Marcus in a reality that is not too different from our own. 

“HTC Vive” by Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)

VR is a great way to fully immerse yourself in a game but it does come at a steep cost. The good news is that as VR increases in popularity, more game developers are recognizing the desire players have to play games that closely resemble reality and creating games for all gaming platforms. Stepping outside of our own reality to experience the world around is what 2018 will be all about.