Real Life Meets Fantasy in Immersive Gaming Experiences

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  • Real Life Meets Fantasy in Immersive Gaming Experiences

    Escape Room
    With virtually every imaginable genre of video game available on the market today, new and unique gaming experiences are hard to come by. Whether you prefer console gaming or PC gaming, a plethora of titles have made it possible to lose oneself in the fantasy of RPGs, first-person shooters, and sandbox experiences.

    Yet more people than ever are seeking out new forms of gaming that truly take the experience to the next level. Despite the long history of gaming being an escape from reality, a variety of developers and businesses are pursuing a return to reality-based gaming.

    While we're not heading back to the board games of the past, there are several unique immersive gaming experiences that merge real life and fantasy. Let's take a look at them.

    Breakout Gaming Is Taking the Fun Offline

    A group of friends may have no issue with huddling around the TV for a night of gaming, but sometimes, an entertainment adventure on the town makes for a better experience.

    A great example of immersive gaming entertainment is breakout or escape room gaming. Available in most cities, this form of puzzle and mystery gaming incorporates the talents of an entire group of friends or family. Rather than watching everybody else have all the fun with the controller, escape room-style games require the input of everybody to follow story-lines, solve puzzles and uncover clues – all while a timer is ticking in the background.

    One great example of the versatility of the breakout experience is the Pittsburgh Escape Room, which offers immersive adventures ranging from kidnapping and hostage situations to casino robberies and island escapes.

    Virtual Reality Is Blurring the Lines

    Blurring the lines between fantasy and reality more than anything else, virtual reality gaming has become mainstream very quickly. While still at a relatively steep price-point for many consumers, many hardcore gamers have made the jump and embraced 21st-century gaming at its finest.

    With multiple headset systems to consider – the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear – there are many options for gamers who want to combine real-life with fantasy. In the US alone, more than one million VR headsets are being sold each quarter, putting immense pressure on developers to devise new and exciting games for the masses.

    Even for those who can't afford a complete VR setup, options do exist: many major cities are now home to VR arcades, where gamers can meet up and enjoy a night of gaming for the fraction of the price of a headset.

    Motion Control Is Making a Comeback

    Anybody who's used a console system before is probably guilty of turning and tilting their controller all over the place. This, arguably, was one of the first examples of immersive gaming – even if it was only good for laughs. The body's natural response to external stimuli in the form of a game is immense, even when the action(s) have no effect.

    For several years now, however, motion control gaming has given new life and meaning to those otherwise awkward movements. While the first wave of motion control gaming has largely died (Microsoft discontinued Kinect last year, for instance), a new era of the immersive gaming is emerging.

    Perhaps the most popular and notable example currently is the Nintendo Switch. Most games released for the system now incorporate motion control elements, which can be toggled on or off depending on whether you prefer a more immersive gaming style.

    Bridging the gap between fantasy and reality is a primary goal for most game-makers and a common desire among consumers. Expect to see more immersive gaming styles – both offline and online – in the coming years as developers and manufacturers seek to augment the gaming experience in ways that could only be dreamed of in the past.
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