General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Virtual reality on my desktop workstation?

Asked by elbanditoroso (30894points) 1 month ago

I’m interested in viewing VR videos, but at this point, I don’t want to invest in a headset or VR hardware, until I’m sure I like the experience.

What, if any, VR software can I put on my desktop to try it out?

Personal experience is valued more than google searching,

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5 Answers

Zaku's avatar

So, “VR” has various levels, the lowest of which is first-person 3D interactive programs like games (many but not all of which involve shooting and violence). You can pretty much see what these are like by watching YouTube video walk-throughs of games, or videos of flight simulators or other “virtual reality” games or software.

Beyond that is stuff that requires hardware.

The lowest step is probably 3D glasses that you still look at a computer screen with, but the glasses make the image look like it has depth.

A slight step in another direction are controllers and/or sensors that sense gestures that are (or can be) like what your character would do, to some degree, such as Wii controllers, or PlayStation Wand controllers, or Kinect for X-Box, though those tend to be game-oriented.

If you are interested in getting more than those sorts of things, I would suggest you try specific set-ups without buying them, which you may be able to do at specific locations near you (generally places that sell them). Each set of software and hardware will give you a different experience.

I would tend to want to find and try out at least one set of software and hardware that I was convinced would be worth it to me, before buying. Which is mostly why I don’t have any beyond 3D games using wired conventional game controllers and not using glasses or motion-sensors (I;m a tough customer, particularly for game designs), but considered getting a PlayStation and Wand briefly after trying a certain sword fight game in a store.

ragingloli's avatar

Until the development of actual Holodecks, you will not have a VR experience without the VR headsets.
VR is defined by the fact that the experience tricks your brain, on a subconscious level, that what you are experiencing is real. That is the essence of it, and until you live it using a full headset, you will not understand it.

janbb's avatar

I’ve experienced VR twice in museums using head sets and it was quite remarkable. One was at the Museum of Natural History in NYC and the other was at the immersive Van Gogh exhibit. I suggest you research places like that in your area to get the feeling of what it can do.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

My partner and I met in a “VR” website called Second Life ~15 years ago. For the time, it was fairly spectacular for a site used on a desk- or lab top.

A few years ago, the partner bought a VR headset/controls. He uses it in the living room on a computer hooked up to the tv. It’s pretty simple to download programs to use, and there are all types. One time I played a game on it, and when the roller coaster started moving backwards, I had to rush to the bathroom to be sick. (Apparently, ‘car sickness’ hasn’t been alleviated with age.)

We’ve also watched a few films in VR with the mask. It’s amazing.

anniereborn's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I am still in SL today! Been there for 15 years.

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