Oculus Rift VR at GDC 2015, https://www.flickr.com/photos/sergesegal/16579122379

Virtual Reality Design: How Head-Mounted Displays Change Design Paradigms of Virtual Reality Worlds

Christian Stein


With the upcoming generation of virtual reality HMDs, new virtual worlds, scenarios, and games are created especially for them. These are no longer bound to a remote screen or a relatively static user, but to an HMD as a more immersive device. This article discusses requirements for virtual scenarios implemented in new-generation HMDs to achieve a comfortable user experience. Furthermore, the effects of positional tracking are introduced and the relation between the user’s virtual and physical body is analyzed. The observations made are exemplified by existing software prototypes. They indicate how the term “virtual reality,” with all its loaded connotations, may be reconceptualized to express the peculiarities of HMDs in the context of gaming, entertainment, and virtual experiences.


HMDs; virtual reality; game design; user experience; motion sickness; game studies; positional tracking

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