We're not sure exactly why you would want to do this, but a German man has successfully spent 48 hours straight in a virtual reality (VR) headset and did not report experiencing nausea or any other physical problems normally associated with wearing the sets.
Thorsten Wiedemann, the founder and artistic director of the A MAZE Festival, an artistic interactive festival dedicated to digital arts and alternative games, took part in an art project called Disconnected at the Game Science Center in Berlin from 8-10 January. As part of the performance, he had to spend 48 hours wearing a HTC Vive VR headset and pass the time exploring a number of VR worlds and environments in an app called Lucid Trips.
He was also invited to test out a whole range of games to keep him occupied, either playing by himself, or against the game's developers, and to that end he participated in virtual ski jumping in the VRLympix app; pretended to be the American president in the White House; tickled a cat while solving puzzles in the Fantastic Contraption app; played virtual tennis with himself; chased after and killed people in Hover Junkers; and hung out with new friends who participated in a live stream and chat in apps like AltspaceVR and VRChat.
Wiedemann was allowed to sleep for just two and a half hours each day with the headset on, with the screen showing him a cozy cave with a view of starry night skies, and he was fed liquid food, lots of water, bananas and chocolates, pizza, chips and wiener wurste, as well as medication to stop him from needing the toilet during the performance.
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"I had no physical problems, no burning eyes, killing headaches or nausea," Wiedemann told Vice. He did admit to having a panic attack during the 25th hour, but the rest of the time, he claims he was fine.
Although it might sound a bit extreme, Wiedemann's experiment serves to show that it is possible to spend an extended amount of time in a VR headset without experiencing nausea, which is one of the most common complaints about why people currently cannot use VR headsets for very long.
Previously, a similar experiment was attempted by Mark Farid, who wanted to wear a VR headset and experience life through other people's eyes and ears for 28 days. However, despite his art project gaining widespread media attention from multiple publications including the Guardian, the Verge, Engadget and Mashable, it was never realised, because Farid only raised £5,913 ($8,427) out of the £150,000 he was asking for.
"The path to the future is now prepared — we only need specially-designed content to get a full immersive experience, and this will take probably until 2026. But what is time? [So] I will experiment more in this direction," said Wiedemann.