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  • My Top 8 Tips for Using Virtual Reality

    7 min read

    My Top 8 Tips for Using Virtual Reality

    Excited to talk about this topic today. Amazing, I just had my first REAL virtual reality sesh, like, really real.  I mean I've demoed VR at the mall or a kiosk or whatever, and you get a couple minutes and you kind of just check something out, but we now have VR in the office, which is amazing, and I just had a full ... I don't know, like at least half-hour sesh just diving in and doing all this amazing stuff. So many cool things. What can I say? IT WAS SUPER EPIC.

    So in that spirit, today I am chatting with you about, and sharing my thoughts on, my top virtual reality tips for using virtual reality for the first time and any time, really, so let's talk about virtual reality and how to do this right.

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    Firstly, Virtual reality is completely immersive. When you put the headset on, you're in a completely different world, and I will tell you that no matter who you think you are or what you know or what you're about, when you put that headset on, it is a humbling experience. This is Star Trek holodeck for real, 100%.  I mean you are completely somewhere else, and it takes some getting used to.

    I know for me, I sense ... (and I'm pretty grounded usually, people say I'm pretty chill), but I sense anxiety that comes up in my body because I'm like, "Holy ..." You know, I feel sensorially and reasonably, somewhat at least, overwhelmed by what's occurring, because each of these creations and experiences are exceptionally unreal. They're far out, some of these, and they give pause to really take in what's happening.

    From my perspective, what's amazing with virtual reality is that your body actually feels like you're there. Your body responds to the stimulants of what's actually occurring. Visually, what you see impacts you physiologically, AND IT IS FAR OUT.  So these scenarios, being so surreal and so wild in some circumstances, I feel you really have to give it some respect.

    So, this said, I offer you my top VR tips, helping you get started in the world of virtual reality, which I do not believe is going, but a trend which is just beginning.

    Tip number 1 - Go Slow.

    By go slow, I mean take your time with the technology. You don't need to jump in and just go for it right out of the gate. Go slow. Pick a more relaxed experience. Pick a more tranquil experience or just an easier experience to get used to the technology, looking around, using the paddles so you can use your hands and just get used to how it all interacts in a more relaxed environment before you just dive into the more intense games and experiences.

    This will really help you ease in and get used to what's appearing, help you manage any sort of apprehension or discomfort or anxiety you might experience while you're playing. For me, it comes up and I have to acknowledge it and work through it. So it's an important thing. So go slow.

    Number 2 - Play Safe.

    Make sure when you set this up, you have lots of space. If you're playing with others in the area, that'll be helpful. It'll be helpful so you don't run into anything or hit anything.

    Otherwise, playing safe means just be cognizant of your space and your surroundings so you're not completely running into things or swinging recklessly and hurting yourself or breaking the equipment or any of this stuff. Just more controlled movements. Some of these things are really intense experiences. Some of them aren't. Some of them are very chill and relaxed. Just play safe in your surroundings so that you're not bumping into anything. Give yourself lots of room.

    Numbers 3 and 4: Focus on your breath and Be Sensitive to Past Trauma.

    As it pertains to focusing on your breath ... and this'll also parlay into another one, which is consider your traumas. Right? I, for one, do not like to fly. Most who know me know this. It is a physiological reaction in my body as it relates to flying. When I experience the experience of flight or I'm high above something or similar, I need to ground. I need to work through that big response.

    This is ever since I've been young. It triggered these things when I was older, and they trigger them still. And so, one, I use my breath, and two, I draw awareness to these past traumas because we can use virtual reality as therapy, and it is amazing. Today in my virtuality sessions, I moved through blockages of myself. I was leaping from the tops of buildings and I was flying a glider, and both of these things were unheard of for me even earlier this afternoon because it caused such an overwhelming sense of energy in my body that I have to recalibrate. I have to do something about it.

    So that's a big thing. If you experience sort of traumas and you have traumas in your life, one, use virtual reality to address and to work through your trauma. It is hugely helpful in this respect, and there's just a beginning in its infancy level of opportunity to explore some of these things. But flying is one of them, and it's right there for us to enjoy and work through, and I'm going to continue to work on that. I tell you as I sit here and as I stand here that as I do, that will change my life and I will start flying. And it will be incredible.

    Two, or second part of this as it relates to that, as your trauma comes up, focus on your breathing. Just in and out, in and out, and just focus on that. Just connect with your body if anything comes up while you're playing. Don't jump out of it. Just stay in it. Really, really great and important way to explore VR.

    Number 5 - Close your Eyes.

    Another ... You know, close your eyes if need be. I will say this, that the experiences are not perfect in some respects yet. Some are better than others. Some flow better than others for the eye and the mind.

    Some VR experiences I have played have been nauseating.  It's just the way they flow. They were not very comforting, and I was nauseous afterwards. With VR, if you close your eyes if it skips screen or if it goes to a different monitor screen or if it just jumps or gets glitchy, just close your eyes and give your eyes a break until it recalibrates just for a sec. Just take a long blink or just ground into it a little as opposed to trying to chase everything around. You don't need to. Don't do it. Just close your eyes, give it a moment, open your eyes again, see where you are, and it should have reset to where it was going as opposed to one screen to the next screen to the next screen, which sometimes can be a bit nauseating.

    This follows to my next point..

    Number 6 - Calibrate the Focus.

    Don't forget that if the focus isn't perfect, play with the focus on the headset and make the focus work for you. Try the extremes to see, "Oh, that's blurry," and, "Oh, that's way too sharp," and then find the happy space between the extremes for you on the headset. So then you won't get nauseous playing, or it will help avoid getting nauseous playing. Also helps relax your eyes as you see these things more naturally in the focus resolution that they're meant to be. So don't forget to calibrate the focus.

    Number 7: Try Everything.

    Today, I was walking with dinosaurs. I was climbing Everest. I was flying a glider. I was leaping from buildings. I was flying and shooting at drones. What else? There's so many fun things I was doing today. Just all these different experiences, and they're just the beginning. There are going to be so many more that are so deep as it relates to wherever really, truly our creativity can go. It's spectacular. So go for it. Dive in. Try them all.

    Number 8 - FLY

    My last one and my favorite one, considering my fears is that I don't like to fly, so my last recommendation to you is to fly in virtual reality. It was awesome. It was so good and so liberating, and I feel like a king just having tried it and done it even though I have more work to do on it. Spectacular. Amazing. This was the HTC Vivewe were playing with today. It deserves a tip of my hat because what a cool device and unit that is.


    Looking to get into VR?  There are a whole bunch of tools and devices and methods to do it. I'll talk more about that a different time, and also provide some resources for same. But in the meantime, highly highly suggest checking it out if, when, and however you have the chance. Super fun, and just the beginning for this space. A lot to come, and I'm going to talk more about it before long here. There is no doubt about it.

    So like, comment, share. Let me know what you think about this and your experiences with VR.  Drop me a note. Check out my other resources as you see fit. They're here for you and to open your eyes to new things going on in the world. All is well here. VR is happening, and it's just the beginning. So enjoy your VR experiences. I wish you the best until we talk to you next time. Have a great day.

    Chad McMillan
    Chad McMillan

    Chad McMillan is an independent venture capitalist and creative artist focused on personal growth and exponential entrepreneurship. Connect with Chad at chad@chadmc.com.

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