Going virtual

Keys to developing virtual reality for a gaming environment lie in continued social interaction, rather than engaging only with a constructed, artificial intelligence interaction, according to experts. Speaking at the iGaming Congress, held at the City of Dreams yesterday and running through today, a panel of virtual reality experts pointed out the advantages of VR, yet the necessity to not completely ‘plug in’ players.
“I think the most interesting VR poker is where you actually sit down and it’s a social experience,” points out Fernando Periera, Operations Director for Portugal and Macau based Virtualmente.
“I think social is the most important experience of VR,” notes Periera, “where you can play against other people at a table but each is in their own house doing it”.
When applied towards casino environments, the co-founder of Neomancer LLC and Spawn Point, Hai Ng, notes that the advantage provided is more on the experience side.
“It’s something that you can install in the casinos,” notes the expert, “it’s a higher experience – equivalent to more of a full-service experience that you can only have on-location”.
Questioned about regulators working more towards activity-based game-play, the chairman of the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association, Nicholas Aaron Khoo, notes that “all regulators should be concerned about screen-time, in particular for millennials”.
However, notes Khoo, the solutions are already out there. Hai notes that “VR can be room-based […] You can walk around a room and in your view it looks like you’re somewhere else.”
The limitations to this, points out Periera, are primarily comfort.
“From all that I’ve tried, they still suffer from a very big problem – it’s still necessary for you to wear a helmet – it’s not comfortable – it’s really not a good experience”.
By switching to more of an eyeglass or even contact lens type experience, points out Pereira, the limits can be circumvented and more comfort applied to the experience, allowing for wider potential.