World Record Set as Man Spends 25 Hours in Virtual Reality
Someone finally decided to see how long he could continue living in a virtual reality world, and in the process set an official Guinness World Record for the most time spent in VR while playing a game.
Filmmaker Derek Westerman, along with a team of producers, set up a living room in a Los Angeles apartment to see if he could spend an entire day wearing the HTC Vive and using its controllers to manipulate virtual space.
“Tons of people have gone into virtual reality for huge amounts of time already,” Mr. Westerman said, in a new YouTube video.
“But currently there is no specific Guinness record, so I want to establish that.”
Due to his choice of game, he had to stay engaged and keep moving around the virtual world to create new drawings throughout most of the experience.
Westerman, who was wearing a suit and tie, set about exploring virtual environments rather than sitting down to play one or two traditional, role playing games for an extended period of time. This is a key detail, as it’s perhaps far easier to zone out and play a game for hours rather than force yourself to aimlessly wander through virtual environments on your own with no clearly defined goal.
Rather than a traditional game, he used Tilt Brush, a VR painting app, the entire time, this implied that he had to remain engaged and moving to create new line drawings throughout most of the experience.
25 Hours in VR, the experience
His experience wasn’t necessarily a smooth one as around the 17th hour Westerman appears to be stricken by a bit of vertigo and vomits into a bucket hastily provided for him by an assistant. The same bucket served his needs at a point around the sixth hour, when he was forced to urinate into it while remaining strapped into the Vive headset.
In fact, he had already starter to suffer after the first half hour.
“Time’s passing pretty slow. I was starting to get extremely bored sitting down, and it’s scary to be extremely bored after a half hour.”
He, however, became more used to it about two hours into the challenge.
“So at first it seemed really tedious being in here and I’m realizing the way to pass the time is to make little art projects,” he said, after spending a little over two hours in the headset. Around the 21st hour, however, Westerman begins to babble incoherently while continuing to wave the Vive controllers, at one point saying, “I don’t know where I’m at…”
The entirety of his 25 hour and two minute VR view was displayed on a nearby monitor that the producers and assistants could watch as his Tilt Brush flourishes slowly deteriorated into seemingly listless virtual scribbles.
The Record Made
“The longest video game marathon on a virtual reality game system is 25 hr 2 min and was achieved by Derek Westerman (USA) in Los Angeles, California, USA, on 7 April 2016,” the Guinness World Records website, reports.
“The virtual reality system used during this attempt was the HTC Vive and Derek played the game Tilt Brush for the entire attempt.”
Tilt Brush is a VR experience that lets users paint in 3D space with virtual reality, using the room they are in as their canvas.
Guinness lists the record as being achieved on April 7, even though the video of the event was only revealed last Wednesday. As amazing as Westerman’s feat is, it’s likely only a matter of time before another VR enthusiast (probably a gamer) attempts to break his record and creep into two-days-in-VR territory.
At that point, neurologists may need to get involved so that we can see exactly what all this time in VR does to the human brain.