Virtual Reality: Inaccessible Reality?


Virtual Reality has long promised so much. It seems to be getting closer now to delivering upon this. And yet, when I hear people like Google getting all buzzy, it puts me in mind of Liz Carr's "Inaccessibility Simulator" post years back on the BBC Ouch! web-site. I'm excited about VR, but there's far too little thought for access it feels like.

Just take a look at how precise that Google Daydream View VR controller must be to use. How many people are being cut out of VR with the current line up and thinking? I saw more strides for accessibility in VR back in 2000 than I'm seeing now (I'm thinking back to Mencap's Enter 2000 VR event). And certainly Myron Kreuger's pioneering Artificial Reality visions were far more inclusive, dating back to 1969. Google, Sony, Hive and others need to wake up a little bit.

My friend Ian Hamilton has recently posted a very thought provoking article on Virtual Reality and accessibility at Gamasutra. Hugely recommend that VR developers and designers read it and soak it up. Why prevent people from being able to experience VR unnecessarily? 


Image of two people within standing pods, with Virtuality head-sets. A 4 by 3 C.R.T. TV sits between them on castors.

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