Virtual reality video gaming has been a dream of the industry for decades. Now, after several false starts, it's finally happening in a big way. According to the makers of the biggest consumer VR devices, these headsets will offer users a new type of escape, be able to connect people in novel ways, and revolutionize the way people play video games.
But now that the dream of consumer-grade VR is a reality, game makers are starting to explore the ethical boundaries and risks associated with this new world of interactive entertainment: Just what is virtual reality going to do to its players? How will our minds and bodies respond to these deeply immersive experiences?
VICE spoke to developers, designers, and researchers about VR's therapeutic potential, as well as the ethical dilemmas and medical risks game designers must take into account when building new virtual worlds.