Getting a new VR headset this holiday season? Let’s break down how to impress each member of your eclectic family.
No family is perfect. When the entire clan manages to come together for the holidays, the festivities can often be as stressful as they are joyous. So whether you’re planning on prepping your VR headset to impress family members when they finally arrive or hoping to unwrap one over the next couple of days, you’ll need a variety of immersive experiences to blow their minds with. After all, uncle Dan might not find the same games and experiences as fun as little cousin Eric.
Stressed! Well we’re here to help! Lets break-down each category of family members and figure out which VR experiences will leave their collective jaws on the floor:
The Parental Units
They’re your biggest supporters in the world, the people you can always lean on and they’re wondering why they just spent several hundred dollars on this bizarre, futuristic helmet for you. Some older folks are definitely techno-savvy, but for those of us with more traditional parents it can be a little harder to express how truly incredible VR is.
To get the point across without intimidating them off the bat, I’d recommend some more casual experiences. Google Earth VR is an excellent app for demonstrating the immersive capabilities and stunning visuals VR can provide. Tilt Brush is also a go-to for first time parents, proving the technology isn’t just a souped-up video game, but a tool that can have positive effects in terms of creativity and imagination. Or maybe take them on a trip through memory lane with Duck Season, a VR reimagining of the NES classic, Duck Hunt.
The Rambunctious Little Cousin
Your little cousin is energetic, full of youthful spirit and a 12-year old tropical storm waiting to happen. They’re young enough to have heard of VR, but not quite old enough to afford it on their own. As a result, they’ve been binge watching VR streamers on Twitch while shotgunning pixies sticks for months and are beyond excited to strap in. Give them an experience they’ll never forget.
Smash Party VR is a great way to let them live out their diabolical fantasies of destroying everything in their home while at the same time tiring them out for dinner. GORN (currently 25% off) is another great experience to help them release all their pre-teen angst. It may be a bit gory for some, but then again, these are the kids currently populating the servers of Call of Duty and a slew of other ‘M’ rated games. If it does end up being a bit too much for little Jimmy, try a more kid-friendly title that’s still packed with action such as Space Pirate Trainer.
The Disgruntled Aunt
There’s always that one Aunt at the party that never seems to want to be there. You keep your distance, hoping to tread lightly the entirety of the holiday as to avoid conflict, but somethings are just inevitable. So why not bypass all the drama and throw her straight into the virtual world.
If you’re feeling a little naughty, test her nerves with Richie’s Plank Experience. Even those with zero fear of heights will find their blood-pumping in this “high stakes” walk 525 feet above the city streets. The vertigo-filled experience is made even better when you incorporate an actual wooden plank to tread across. Feeling extra sadistic? Strap her into the headset with no prior information regarding the experience and check out the reaction as the elevator doors first opens.
The Out of Touch Grandparents
They have absolutely no idea what VR is. The concept itself sends a shiver down their spine as they’re hit with flashbacks of the Orwellian-future predicted during their years as young adults. It’s hard enough dealing with Twitter and smartphones, making VR a technology they’re especially hesitant to try.
Give them something easy and pleasant to digest such as the laid-back fruit-slicing game Fruit Ninja VR or the casual workplace experience Job Simulator. Eagle Flight is another great VR app that’s sure to put a smile on their experienced faces without stressing them out too heavily. Unless of course they have a nasty case of Ornithophobia….
Other honorable mentions for games the family can gather around during this season include the festive snowball-tossing experience Merry Snowballs, secret agent simulator I Expect You To Die and of course Valve’s always-reliable The Lab.
We realize each family is different and that these categories are a bit stereotypical, but I think most readers will find they have at least one member of the family that fits the bill. So this year why not skip the awkward small-talk and instead sned your unsuspecting family on a virtual adventure they’ll be dying to go on again. Or, you know, point and laugh as your aunt grips a wooden plank in fear for 45 minutes…