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A video guide to not breaking your face in virtual reality

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The surprisingly easy way to hurt yourself and your hardware in VR

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I want to stress that, in the course of making the above video, we did not actually break any Vive Pre controllers or human faces. The controller landed safely, although the hardware took a pretty bad hit the first time this happened to me.

So yes, the situations you see in the video are real, and are based on actual instances in which I almost, or did, hurt myself in virtual reality.

It has to do with virtual tables, you see. It's very easy to get used to virtual objects feeling real when they interact with other virtual objects, which fools your brain into thinking you can set your very real physical controller on a desk or table. Or you can attempt to physically lean on a table, which leads to a very sudden fall to a very real floor.

Ars Technica published a list of warnings from the Vive Pre instruction manual, and it does include this one:

It is important to remember that simulated objects, such as furniture, that may be encountered while using the product do not exist in the real world, and injuries may result when interacting with those simulated objects as if they were real, for example, by attempting to sit down on a virtual chair.A few people I know have reached out to kind of make fun of these warnings, but I want to assure you, they are based on very real — if somewhat silly — dangers. Make sure, before you set your controllers down, that you're near a real object or are wearing the wrist straps. Only lean on things that physically exist. It's kind of weird that we have to say that, but unexpectedly falling down and catching your weight on your wrist because your hand is holding a controller doesn't feel great.

The demo used to demonstrate this point is Waltz of the Wizard by Aldin Dynamics. We'll have more on the game itself very soon.