If you’re looking for a truly immersive gaming experience that lets you leave the real world behind, Virtual Reality (VR) can do just that. These game applications can help you experience places and events that go well beyond our real environment by allowing players to exist in a three-dimensional artificial world.
The human brain can adapt quickly. When you are in the VR world, it can take up to 30 minutes before you lose your spatial awareness. Your brain may be able to adapt quickly to the inhabitance of the virtual world, but your body stays in that reality – as do the walls you can walk and slide into, tripping and falling hazards, and people you may hit in the face.
As the popularity of virtual reality increases, so do the cases where the use of VR resulted in injuries. Playing in the virtual reality world is not without its risks, and this article explains why.
The risks of virtual reality
Virtual reality game users have reported a number of worrying effects, including visual impairment, disorientation, and even seizures. In addition, using VR carries a very real risk of injury. The players have suffered from broken bones, torn ligaments and even electric shocks.
Augmented Reality uses a technology similar to Virtual Reality, but does not add a fully virtual world, but adds virtual elements to the world around us. You can assume that you can still see where you are going while playing augmented reality games, but the truth is that a lot of people have been injured.
Pokemon Go is a popular augmented reality game that users have already suffered more than some of their injuries. Take a look at the examples below to see how diverse these injuries can be.
- A man playing Pokemon Go while driving came across a police car.
- A distracted man was robbed while playing Pokemon Go.
- A distracted man was attacked while playing Pokemon Go.
- Two distracted men fell off a cliff while playing Pokemon Go.
- A man accelerating while playing Pokemon Go crashed his car.
In one study, researchers traced 134 car accidents in Tippecanoe County, Indiana alone, in which two deaths were related to the game. When they calculated what this might look like in relation to the United States as a whole, they estimated that the game could have contributed to 150,000 accidents and 256 deaths.
Virtual Reality and Personal Injury Act
Many personal injury lawsuits have been filed against Nintendo for injuries caused by playing Pokemon Go. However, in these cases, manufacturers may not be the only potentially liable parties. Certainly, in cases like the examples above, some liability rests with the player.
The player can be held liable for violations of virtual reality. For example, they fell during the game, but they fell over a hazard in their own home. The manufacturer could also be responsible for not adequately researching the psychological effects and long-term side effects of using this technology.
When using virtual reality you will usually agree to terms that say you understand and accept the potential risks of using the product. Not everyone who has been injured as a result of VR has signed a waiver, however, as would be the case if someone were injured in an accident caused by someone using VR. You can visit this link for help if you are injured by the product.
Some factors that can affect liability in virtual reality injury cases include whether or not the breach occurred on private or public property, and whether or not the headset design was a factor. It is also possible that an injury is caused by a problem with the manufacture or design of the product.
When it comes to virtual reality, warnings may not be enough to keep gamers safe. It is important to use common sense when using VR. However, it is also important that designers and manufacturers consider how their products are likely to be used and address any safety issues before they are released to the public.