Trend watch: Escapism into VR

According to research by VR firm Geekzonia, reveals one in five Brits (17 per cent) would prefer to be living in a virtual world to their existing reality. The survey of 1,000 people in the UK, carried out by OnePoll and commissioned by Geekzonia, revealed 22 per cent cite Brexit and Trump as reasoning for wanting to live in a virtual universe.

Other drivers for preferring to live in an alternative dimension include wanting to visit extraordinary places such as Mars, Gotham City and Mordor (46 per cent) and to meet favourite fictional characters such as Superman, The Hulk and Captain America (33 per cent).
In our experience more companies are exploring virtual options for tourism and virtual meetings. We also work on a number of initiatives of bringing gamification into virtual reality. In learning virtual reality has a place to simulate on boarding for example, there are amazing use cases of it in the medical world and where it is at its most powerful when it is used in combination with live reality. Hence creating a mixed reality experience for example a doctor performing an operation whilst being watched in VR by a number of peers and having the opportunity to seek input from other specialists worldwide.
The poll, which looked at the level of interest people have in escaping reality for a virtual realm, also examined how they would
develop their avatar to represent them in this alternative dimension. An avatar within these massively multiplayer virtual worlds is a person’s representation of themselves, as they wish to be perceived by others users.

 The results revealed that body confidence transcends into the virtual world, with the majority of respondents (39 per cent) admitting they would make their VR avatar look like themselves, only better looking(!). These findings are the same as what was seen in 2nd Life which provided a virtual world in the early 2000s, when people are left to free choice they will still choose a similar version to themselves, only slightly better.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ‘virtual vanity’ hits women harder. 45 per cent of British women, in comparison to 30 per cent of men, state they’d create their avatar as a ‘taller’, ‘slimmer’ or ‘more muscular’ version of their current self.

 Reflecting this, 29 per cent of men in comparison to only 19 per cent of women, said they’d make their avatar as-true to themselves as possible.

Other popular avatars of interested included ‘becoming’ a fictional character (25 per cent), not even human (nine per cent) and a celebrity (four per cent).

Are you spending more time in the virtual world?

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