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Virtual Reality and Gaming

Virtual reality and gaming go hand in hand - VR makes gaming more interactive and more immersive than ever before, allowing players to be right in the action.

The video gaming industry has continued to pour money and resources into embracing virtual reality, cementing its development and advancement.

Worldwide revenue for the augmented-reality and virtual-reality market is projected to grow to more than $162 billion in 2020, from $5.2 billion in 2016, driven largely by gaming consoles and mobile virtual-reality headsets and experiences, according to IDC, a research firm.

Several virtual reality HMDs were released for gaming during the early-mid 1990s. These included the Virtual Boy developed by Nintendo, the iGlasses developed by Virtual I-O, the Cybermaxx developed by Victormaxx and the VFX1 Headgear developed by Forte Technologies.

Modern examples of narrow VR for gaming include the Wii Remote, the Kinect, and the PlayStation Move/PlayStation Eye, all of which track and send motion input of the players to the game console so that your movement in real life controls action on screen.

VR headsets such as the Fove, Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR work almost like glasses to another realm - in which users' eyes are focused on a high-reolution screen in close proximity, and motion sensors are used to track the movement of their head and body to explore the virtual world. This allows full immersion within gaming - you can be the hero within the game, instead of controlling a character in the third person.

Data gloves and suits, controllers and joysticks take this immersion in gaming even further. You are not just immersed in what you can see, your hands and even your whole body can be transported to a virtual world. Have you ever longed to fight aliens and zombies for real? Now, you virtually can!

Following the widespread release of commercial VR headsets in the mid-2010s, several VR-specific and VR versions of popular videogames have been released. Fallout 4, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and more favourite franchises now allow you to delve even further into their worlds.

Guild Software's Vendetta Online was widely reported as the first MMORPG to support the Oculus Rift, making it potentially the first online world with native support for a consumer virtual reality headset.

In 2016, Mojang announced that the popular children's video game Minecraft was playable on the Gear VR.

Top VR Games

As well as existing games implemented VR extras, some games have been created especially for the use of VR headsets - and they are taking the world of gaming by storm.

Here are our top picks of VR games for you to try your hand at:

Elite: Dangerous (Multi - platform)

Although the franchise is over 30 years old, the Elite franchise is still alive and kicking - with this amazing VR offering bringing new life to the game.

Drawing elements from the first game such as trading, exploring and engaging in combat within a massive, procedurally-generated universe - Elite: Dangerous is an Elite game for the 21st century crowd.

Starting in the year 3300 in 2014, Elite: Dangerous is currently set in the year 3303 and has been running in sync with UTC +1286 years, around 45 years after Frontier: First Encounters, the previous game in the series. Players start with a spaceship and a small amount of money and have to make their own way in an open galaxy, furthering themselves either legally or illegally, through trading, mining, bounty-hunting, piracy and assassination.

This game is perfect for multi-player action - so you can explore the universe and bounty hunt to your heart's content with your best friend.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (PlayStation VR exclusive)

The Resident Evil franchise is a firm favourite with horror fans - and this VR offering kicks the frights up a notch.

The story follows civilian Ethan Winters as he searches for his wife Mia, which leads him to a derelict plantation inhabited by the Baker family. Ethan makes use of weapons and tools in the fight against the Baker family, and the "Molded", a humanoid form of bacteria.

You can't just gun your way through this game - rather than just being about the action, this game has various mind-boggling puzzles. On top of this, Biohazard takes survival horror back to it's roots - you will need to think tactically and act accordingly to win.

Arizona Sunshine (Multi - platform)

Arizona Sunshine was eagerly-anticipated ahead of it's release - and its easy to see why.

The game, which sees you exploring a zombie-infested Wild West, is a refreshingly lengthy experience that you can really sink your teeth into, which contrasts with the more arcade-like experiences offered by other VR games.

Arizona Sunshine requires motion controllers for play. The controllers are used to manipulate virtual firearms as well as to interact with the player's inventory and the environment - which is thoroughly exhilarating.

The game includes a campaign in which the player explores environments and finds the tools needed to advance, and a horde mode in which players are confined to a small camp and try to survive against increasingly difficult waves of zombie attacks. Both the campaign and the horde mode can be played in single-player and multiplayer modes.