Long-term effects of virtual reality?

With a handful of virtual reality (VR) headsets on the market already, and more on their way with Sony announcing this week it will release a PlayStation set in October, the impact of such devices on eyesight, the brain and behaviour is still being established.

Current Health and Safety guidelines for the Oculus Rift list a host of possible side effects with warnings ranging from seizures, nausea and dizziness to – for children engaging in prolonged use – trouble with hand-eye coordination.

While many effects are believed to be temporary and leave no lasting damage, there have been few long-term studies into use of the technology.

The above from The Guardian does make me wonder about the damage such technology has the potential to inflict. It does sound like killjoy-speak, but I have had balance problem for the past 3 years and a ride on The Simpsons ride in Universal Studios caused me to need medical attention because it completely screwed me up. I asked if it was like a roller coaster and was told that it wasn’t, but it ended up being a virtual ride where the visuals did not quite match up with the physical sensations. It only takes a millisecond here or there and people with balance problems can have their condition made much worse. This is why I am skeptical about how much medical research has gone into this new breed of VR.



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