Virtual reality gets a lot of attention for how successfully it’s adapting traditional gaming genres. A lot of people are excited by the progress that’s been made with shooting games, which were once thought to be tricky for VR, but have emerged in exciting ways over the last year or two. VR developers have also experimented with other popular genres such as racing games, action-adventures, and even character-driven platformer. It’s beginning to seem more and more like most of the types of games we already enjoyed on popular consoles are going to translate well to VR.
But that’s not all we’re going to see on VR. The new medium is also excellent for adapting some real life activities in new ways. Here are some that come to mind as particularly interesting opportunities.
We’ve actually already seen some bare bones, early versions of archery and other target practice games designed for virtual reality, but these games can and will get more sophisticated. Miniclip introduced an archery game to its collection of mobile titles not long ago, and it serves as a pretty good model for what a bigger and better VR experience could look like. The game features different bow and arrow upgrades, head-to-head multiplayer competition, various target practice challenges, and a lot of fun, interesting backgrounds for courses. All of this could make for an incredibly fun simulation of a real life activity in VR that’s hasn’t really gotten its fair dues when it comes to gaming.
Poker was adapted from a popular pastime to a gaming phenomenon a long time ago. Online versions of the game have been popular for the better part of 20 years, and many people think of computer screens before casinos when they imagine this particular activity. Nevertheless, recent changes in the genre seem to be paving the way for a big move to virtual reality. Games hosted by live professional dealers are on the rise in terms of popularity in 2017, and they flirt with becoming virtual reality themselves. It seems inevitable that full-fledged VR casinos are around the corner, which would mean virtual reality would be introducing the most realistic form of poker ever that didn’t take place at an actual card table.
Laser tag feels like an entertainment relic from the past, but it could make an exciting comeback. One game that more or less constitutes a VR laser tag experience has already emerged, and there could be more following in its footsteps. We could just rope this into the broader concept of VR shooters, but in some cases conventional shooters seem too brutal and combative for the new medium. Laser tag is a tamer version that a lot of gamers might be more willing to accept. Besides that, there’s a nostalgic quality to this game.
Golf & Baseball
We should also consider sports, which often make for a difficult transition to VR. There are some exceptions though. While simulating a full basketball, soccer, or football game might be incredibly difficult some sports and activities could translate quite well. A VR golf game can easily make it possible for players to simulate playing 18 holes on any course in the world, or even on a custom-built, in-game course. Similarly, there’s nothing to prevent developers from crafting entire baseball games that allow players to control pitchers and batters and play their way through major league competition. Sports haven’t headlined VR development so far, but they definitely shouldn’t be counted out.