Like most things in life, board games often experience different trends as new technologies become available. One thing that is currently being explored is virtual reality based board games. My initial reaction was confusion, and then immediately dismissal. Why on Earth would someone who plays board games want them in virtual reality format, isn’t that why we have video games? However, I thought on the idea for a while and had some great conversations on Instagram that have helped me change my views. I do think that virtual reality will potentially have a place in the board gaming community, because it may make games more accessible to certain people.
The first major benefit I could see is for someone who is moving or will be playing games with their group from long distances. This allows players to still experience a board game with people who may live a great distance from one another. While phones may have board game apps that players may use, the virtual reality provides a more immersive experience.
Another major benefit was pointed out to me by Chris Goodlet on Instagram, was that it may provide individuals with disabilities a way to play the board games that they would otherwise not be able to play. For instance, a person who had limited control over fine motor skills would still be able to use the controller rather than picking up tiny meeples. If companies focus on making these games more accessible, it could revolutionize the way that people with disabilities are able to play games.
While VR might not be for everyone, I definitely think that there may be a market even in the board gaming community. Board games are distinguished from video games, and I think those who are looking for a board game may still enjoy a game, even if it does require VR. It will be interesting to see if this technology continues to involve for board gaming. Are there any other reasons you can think of to use VR in table top gaming?