A fun way to stay in-shape: the game BeatSaber

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Caleb LaFleur via Canva

As of 2020, the global VR/AR is valued at $12 billion USD.

The Oculus Quest 2 is Facebook’s fifth headset to be released in their Oculus line up. (Fair use photo from Facebook)

Contrary to popular belief, VR has become less and less expensive, as well as easier to access for the average consumer. These headsets were first introduced to the consumer market in the mid 1990’s and came resurfaced in 2010. Since then, the prices have decreased to as low as $299 for Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2. This headset is unique from others because it does not require a PC that is VR capable.

VR isn’t just about games, it has become a very important part of the healthcare field. It is used to treat anxiety, ADHD, autism, PTSD and even Nicotine Addiction! (Fair use photo from Beat Games)

What is Virtual Reality? It is exactly what is featured in Steven Spielberg’s movie, Ready Player One! Well, not exactly. Definitions can vary but typically have the same general idea.

According to Investopedia, “Virtual reality (VR) refers to a computer-generated simulation in which a person can interact within an artificial three-dimensional environment using electronic devices, such as special goggles with a screen or gloves fitted with sensors. In this simulated artificial environment, the user is able to have a realistic-feeling experience.” 

In other words, when you put on the headset, you are transported to a new, virtual, three dimensional plane in which you can walk around, talk, and interact with an array of objects and people. You can even go to virtual movies in a movie theatre using applications such as BigScreen or Netflix.

As of March 2020, two million copies of Beat Saber have been sold. (Fair use photo from Beat Games)

One of the most popular games on the market is BeatSaber, a very intense physical and mental workout. You are transported to an arena where you are given two lightsabers, one blue and one red and then blocks will begin to float towards you as music plays. In order to progress through the level successfully, you must slice the blocks in the direction indicated.

However, the more you play, the more complicated it gets. Once the player makes it past the first couple levels, modifiers will start being added to the levels to change up how you play. Some of these include a Insta-Fail where if you mess up once its game over, a Battery where you can only make a limited number of mistakes. Sped up or Slowed Down versions of the song. No fail, and one where the direction in which you are to slice disappears almost as soon as the block appears. This is one of the most difficult as it adds another layer to this physical game as now you need to focus as hard as you can on not missing any of the blocks while not always being sure on which way to cut it. Transparent walls also can come flying at the player. This forces them to move to either the left, right, or even duck.

A update release recently by Beat Games has added a multiplayer option. Now players have the ability to compete competitively with friends! (Image Via Beat Games)

Once having passed the levels on easy and normal difficulty, the game becomes a lot harder. This is where most begin to sweat and the game truly becomes a work out. Both Hard and Expert difficulty levels can really make the player sweat. Before they know it, they’ll be taking off their sweatshirt or changing into a short sleeved shirt and shorts as they desperately find ways to stay cool. The next day, it is very common for the user to find that their arms are sore from the games high levels of cardio.