A man was found dead after he apparently had an accident while playing a virtual reality game, showing the dangers of the platform.
A Russian man has died after having an accident playing a virtual reality game, according to reports. The man, who was 44, was found dead in his apartment while still wearing his VR goggles after it appeared he slipped and fell on a glass table, cutting himself.
Police think massive blood loss was the cause of death, and the game he was playing may not have been correctly formatted to fit his apartment, causing him to run into the table. It’s an indication that the dangers of virtual reality goggles should not be ignored, and one should be very careful before attempting to play while wearing them.
There are other risks, such as virtual reality sickness that are often experienced by VR users. People can get a form of motion sickness, feeling nausea, headaches, and even comiting. Experts think that the brain becomes confused by the apparent movement but because the inner ear doesn’t feel any movement, there is confusion.
The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia on the risks of VR.
There are many health and safety considerations of virtual reality. Most virtual reality systems come with consumer warnings, including: seizures; developmental issues in children; trip-and-fall and collision warnings; discomfort; repetitive stress injury; and interference with medical devices.
A number of unwanted symptoms have been caused by prolonged use of virtual reality, and these may have slowed proliferation of the technology. Virtual reality sickness (also known as cybersickness) occurs when a person’s exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness symptoms. The most common symptoms are general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy. Other symptoms include postural instability and retching. Virtual reality sickness is different from motion sickness in that it can be caused by the visually induced perception of self-motion; real self-motion is not needed. It is also different from simulator sickness; non-virtual reality simulator sickness tends to be characterized by oculomotor disturbances, whereas virtual reality sickness tends to be characterized by disorientation. A 2016 publication assessed the effects of exposure to 2D vs 3D dissection videos on nine pathology resident physicians, using self-reported physiologic symptoms. Watching the content in 3D vs 2D did not increase simulator sickness. Although the average simulator sickness questionnaire score did increase with time, statistical analysis does not suggest significance.
The persistent tracking required by all VR systems makes the technology particularly useful for, and vulnerable to, mass surveillance. The expansion of VR will increase the potential and reduce the costs for information gathering of personal actions, movements and responses. In networked VR spaces with capacity for public interaction, there is the potential for unexpected modifications of the environment.
Conceptual and philosophical concerns
In addition, there are conceptual, and philosophical considerations and implications associated with the use of virtual reality. What the phrase “virtual reality” means or refers to can be ambiguous. Mychilo S. Cline argued in 2005 that through virtual reality techniques will be developed to influence human behavior, interpersonal communication, and cognition. In the book The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality by Michael R. Heim, seven different concepts of virtual reality are identified: simulation, interaction, artificiality, immersion, telepresence, full-body immersion, and network communication. As we spend more and more time in virtual space, there could be a gradual “migration to virtual space”, resulting in important changes in economics, worldview, and culture. Philosophical implications of VR are discussed in books, including Philip Zhai’s Get Real: A Philosophical Adventure in Virtual Reality (1998) and Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality (1999), written by Ken Hillis.
Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to “look around” the artificial world, and with high quality VR move around in it and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of a head-mounted display with a small screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed rooms with multiple large screens.
VR systems that include transmission of vibrations and other sensations to the user through a game controller or other devices are known as haptic systems. This tactile information is generally known as force feedback in medical, video gaming and military training applications. Virtual reality also refers to remote communication environments which provide a virtual presence of users with through telepresence and telexistence or the use of a virtual artifact (VA). The immersive environment can be similar to the real world in order to create a lifelike experience grounded in reality or sci-fi. Augmented reality systems may also be considered a form of VR that layers virtual information over a live camera feed into a headset, or through a smartphone or tablet device.