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Immersive Reality: How Real is Quest for Reality ?

THE IMMERSIVE QUEST

Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality are growing at a fast pace. If they had been made available for us in Covid 2019 times, would this have made things better? Could we swim in pools, ski on slopes of virtual reality, children learning at school and more ? Here is my small experience of immersive reality, read on and let me know your views.

On a Summer Sunday, we had gone out to play games at the indoor gaming center. Bowling, table tennis, shooting, archery, we did it all. Towards the end of an exciting day, we came across a large glass cabin with few headsets hanging from the ceiling. It intrigued our energized minds so we paid up for the fancy game.

A lady gave us our guns (toy) to shoot and helped us with our VR headsets. It was a multi-person game so two of us decided to play. The headset initially felt heavy but within few minutes we were comfortable and the big gun in hand made us feel powerful, like hell yeah ! “We are on a mission baby, Lets win the war”. I would have liked if we had uniforms too.

We were in a red -black spooky environment giving us ghostly halloween night feeling. A smart lady commander emerged who spoke in a stern voice, looking into our eyes, she gave us commands on how to protect the world from the zombies. We were reminded of the consequences if we lost, which sounded very awful. As she disappeared we saw the countdown go 5,4,3,2,1,0 and we started turning around to see where the zombies were.

Lo & Behold ! Numerous zombies started encircling us, walking up towards us and more started emerging in the spaces. We started killing them but by the time we shot one, others were closing in on us. They were everywhere, front, behind crawling up on us, stretching their hands to get to us and we were screaming, shooting, trying to escape ones near us. My partner calling out “Rekhaaa this one ! Omg there is one more behind you”! They came really close to us and sometimes their hands stretched to get me.

Slurs and swearwords began flowing naturally. We fought with all our might like we would in a zombie battlefield, but actually ducking down, crawling, screaming, moving all around, back to front, recharging our guns in between. It was getting really scary when the zombie got close or flying on top with its claws and gooey liquid oozing from its mouth. We forgot which world we belonged to as we fought harder. Totally immersed !

In 15 minutes we had killed many zombies and game ended, we won. It felt like an achievement, heart beating fast, adrenalin pumping from all the screaming and shooting.

The memory and impression of the first VR game in my head is unforgettable. The images of the places, zombies, screaming, dead zombies walking up remained in my head very clearly for days to come.

It felt really real ! I’m excited about the possibilities that emerge with technology like VR, MR, AR bring…are you ?