Someone finally went and decided to try living in virtual reality for a full day, and in the process set an official Guinness World Record for the most time spent in VR while playing a game.
Filmmaker Derek Westerman and a team of producers set up a living room in a Los Angeles apartment to see if he could spend and entire day wearing the HTC Vive and using its controllers to manipulate virtual space.
Wearing a suit and tie, he then set about exploring virtual environments rather than sitting down to play one or two traditional, role playing games for an extended period of time. That detail is key, as it’s likely far easier to zone out and play a game for hours rather than force yourself to aimlessly wander through virtual environments on your own with no particular goal.
Instead of a traditional game, he used Tilt Brush, a VR painting app, the entire time, which means he had to remain engaged and moving to create new line drawings throughout most of the experience.
But the experience wasn’t necessarily a smooth one as around the 17th hour Westerman appears to get a bit of vertigo and vomits into a bucket hastily provided for him by an assistant. That same bucket served his needs sometime around the sixth hour, when Westerman was forced to urinate into it while remaining strapped into the Vive headset.
around the 21st hour, Westerman begins babbling as incoherently while continuing to wave the Vive controllers
Then around the 21st hour, Westerman begins babbling incoherently while continuing to wave the Vive controllers, at one point saying, “I don’t know where I’m at…”
His entire 25 hour and two minute VR view was displayed on a nearby monitor that the producers and assistants could watch as his Tilt Brush flourishes slowly devolved into a listless virtual scribbles.
Guinness lists the record as being achieved on April 7, but the video of the event was just revealed on Wednesday. But as amazing as Westerman’s feat is, it’s likely only a matter of time before someone else (probably a gamer) attempts to break his record and creep into two-days-in-VR territory.
At that point, we may need to get neurologists involved to see exactly what all this time in VR does to the human brain. Until then, use this video to convince yourself that VR gaming marathons are probably not a healthy way to spend your leisure time, no matter how incredible the virtual scenery looks.