It turns out VR can get a little too immersive

Immersive virtual reality games are leading to accidents, resulting in an increase in insurance claims and injuries.

The sad truth of virtual reality games is that regardless of how immersive the experience, players are still firmly planted in the physical world.

When gamers forget that, bad things happen (in other words, they break stuff).

Case in point, insurance claims that mention VR headsets jumped 31% in 2021, per Sky News.

The rise of VR insurance claims…

… tracks closely with the popularity of VR headsets. Since 2016, claims are up 68%, with the average claim coming in at ~$880.

Aviva, an insurance company, shared examples of the claims they’ve received, which include:

  • A broken TV, from a gamer throwing a remote after being frightened by a zombie
  • Broken designer figurines, from a gamer swiping them off a mantlepiece

As they say, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt — but it turns out that’s happening too. VRtoER is a subreddit that collects injuries from VR games, counting 83k members and a long list of injuries.

So why does this matter?

With ~8m VR headsets sold since 2020, VR claims won’t be going away any time soon.

Brad Slingerlend from NZS Capital argues augmented reality is the better option for almost every type of app, and that big tech companies are moving in the wrong direction by focusing efforts on immersive VR.

One reason? Being tethered to the real world prevents accidents. If immersive VR is your thing, just make sure to give yourself some space.

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