Lancaster Guardian reporter Gemma Sherlock tries out a new virtual reality game as part of Lancaster University’s Campus in the City.
Lancaster gaming enthusiasts got the chance to test their survival skills in a virtual reality challenge for charity.
Lancaster University’s ‘Campus in the City’ hosted the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality, head-mounted display which allows players to see and interact with the game world in three dimensions.
A number of gamers and families turned up to the blacked-out section of the Campus in the City (CITC) shop to get the chance to use the unique technology for themselves.
Exploring a dark and deserted manor, players are asked to make their way through a series of abandoned sections, as it becomes increasingly apparent that they are not as alone as it initially appears.
The Oculus Rift has been in development for a number of years and is close to being released onto the consumer market.
Intrepid gamers took on the notorious ‘Affected’ which has become a YouTube sensation, as videos featuring players’ terrified reactions have clocked up over 100 million views.
Sam Hubbard, 20, from the Lancaster University gaming society, said: “It sort of tricks your brain into thinking you are in a completely 3-D environment.
“You can look around over your shoulder and the camera changes as if you’re actually looking around in the game.
“It’s not looking at a monitor were you still have got awareness of the room around you, you’re 100 per cent in the game.”
The event helped to raise £135 for the After Ebola charity effort on behalf of Save the Children.
The horror challenge took place at Campus in the City on Cheapside on March 13-14.
I would like to think I broke some boundaries by bringing a female aspect to the gaming world but my reactions to the Oculus Rift wouldn’t let that happen.
The words horror, headset and virtual reality didn’t exactly put my mind at ease when I entered the room of hyperactivity but it was for charity so why not?
I can see why the head-mounted display is gaining some rapid attention.
The 3-D tool puts the player into the gaming world making it a totally immersive experience.
As I am someone who peeks a view of the screen through their hands when watching a horror I wasn’t exactly prepared for the virtual horror played out before me.
Exploring darks rooms through the manor in the game ‘Affected’ was manageable, until noises emerged which ranged from fire extinguishers being let off to little girls laughing.
And that’s when I gave up.
Cowardly removing the head-set, complete with headphones, I admitted defeat.
I felt silly afterwards as no doubt my screaming produced some laughter.
But doesn’t that mean the tool works?
Yes there are some things that need to be improved such as the graphics but the technology is a giant leap forward.
Great experience? Yes. Would I do it again? Let me think about it.