People Using Drugs With Virtual Reality
If you’re playing American Truck Simulator, you’re able to see a UFO above the Nevada desert at times.
Virtual reality is typically pretty intense. Some VR users however, feel it’s not intense enough. So, they’re using drugs while using VR.
Timothy Leary, a well known psychologist and counterculture icon used to refer to the PC as the “LSD of the 90s”. People were saying similar things as for virtual reality and psychedelics, although the two hadn’t been used together.
Fast forward to now that virtual reality is coming back to life and better than ever as well as more accessible than ever. People are trying drugs while using VR. There are even groups on the internet for this such as the Reddit community, “VR Psychonauts”, “RiftintotheMind” and “trees3D”. People talk about what their VR experiences were like on drugs and give each other advice as well.
Logan, a guy who used drugs while playing VR, said, “VR is an experience but why not kind of take it to the next step? When I moved to the West Coast it got easier for me to get into the community. I moved out here and I was like, Oh, VR, Ok this sounds cool.”
He first took mushrooms in virtual reality with the Oculus Rift DK2. He said it was “overwhelming” until he got more used to it. After that, he found OCTA, which is a Leap Motion demo and he’s been using that ever since. Logan said, “You can kind of make these 3D spiral effects and they kind of look like galaxies. It’s just in this black space area, so there’s nothing around you.”
“The body buzz alone was enough. It was kind of weird because we grow up and we can see our hands and we know that we’re moving them, but when you can move something and you can’t see it, and then you’re also on shrooms… it’s quite an experience.”
He also talked about his experience on drugs playing the game Minecraft VR. “That looked really cool. It made me feel like a God in a sense because I’m looking down on this character.”
It’s interesting, he said that when he plays games like the American Truck Simulator, not only do his driving skills diminish as he uses drugs, but he feels guilty if he gets into an accident in the game.
Before each VR journey with drugs, Logan creates a plan listing all the things that he wants to experience. He said, “It’s kind of like how every trip goes. You have a journal of what you were going to do and then halfway into it you’re doing something completely different.”
Alex Beyman is a guy whose used drugs a bit more often than Logan. His main drug of choice is LSD and he particularly likes “tripping” underground. He said, “Tripping in VR seemed like the next logical step.”
Overall, he’s had mixed experiences with VR on drugs, but he said that he had an especially interesting journey when he played Smash Hit, a Gear VR shooting game.
“I think what triggered it is taking notice that the field of view within the Gear VR I was using that day is close to the same shape as the human field of view. Which made me realize that, although I was looking at a false reality assembled by a small computer and then fed into my eyes, it is not perceived directly but then deconstructed and interpreted by another, biological computer. One machine lying to another, but even with the headset off what I’m seeing doesn’t get to me until it’s been heavily processed.”
Alex said that he especially likes visuals that are close up and trailing colors.
As you would imagine, not all experiences on drugs with VR are good ones. There are the normal risks of using drugs plus the addition of the intense environment that you’re in and how that makes you feel. One time, Alex was playing Dreadhalls and the sound began to break up, so he started playing another game, but the mushrooms he took made it seem as though elements from Dreadhalls were somehow in the new game he was playing. “When I switched over to Darknet, the normal overlord voice transformed into another jive ass ghost, f**king haunting my mortal ass with its jazzy but still mournful ghost ballads. If ever you are plagued by the mournful yet sassy and honestly genre-defying musical stylings of a ghost chorus while playing Dreadhalls in VR, do not let the fear or the rhythm take you. Instead, go to your happy place.”
Another person who tried VR on drugs, named Michael, talked about a bad experience his brother had. “I put that video with him in the virtual desktop with the screen really big and kind of far away and made it surround him, and basically you could tell he was lost in there, because when he took it off he was speechless.” There is a term for that – “ego death”, it describes the person as being unaware of where they’re located, who they are as a person, etc.
Virtual reality is still improving and will continue to improve over the months and years to come. Some people have said that using drugs while using VR helps to make the experience better and in other words it makes up for the fact that VR as a technology, isn’t completely perfected yet.
Skip Rizzo, a Research Scientist Professor at the Institute for Creative Technologies, said, “I would be very cautious until we know more about it. It would need to be studied under extremely controlled conditions with every possible kind of safeguard. You always have to consider safety. Some of the drugs that are being used and are now being experimented with as positive therapeutic agents…those are done under very controlled conditions with a lot of safeguards involved.”
We wanted to outline some people’s experiences and note that people are trying drugs with VR. To each his own, but we absolutely don’t recommend that you try using drugs with VR or use drugs period.