Metaverse Trouble: ER Fills With VR Crashes

If you die in the Matrix, you die in the real world. It is one of the first lessons that Morpheus gives to good old Neo. In the case of the metaverse, everything seems to be going the same way. Depriving yourself of your vision, touch, and hearing with a virtual reality headset can be fun for a while, but it can end in tragedy if you’re not careful or have someone nearby to keep an eye on you. Accidents with virtual reality equipment are becoming more frequent, but fractures are paid for in the real world.

Metaverse Trouble: ER Fills With VR Crashes

VR headsets break records… and legs too

This past Christmas, VR headsets from brands like Oculus have flown off the shelves . In 2021, these products had an increase in demand of more than 70% compared to the previous year , according to the agency International Data Corp. It is estimated that, throughout the past year, almost 8 million virtual reality headsets were sold throughout the world. It is not surprising with the situation we are currently experiencing. With mobility limitations, social distance and home confinements, it seems tempting to put on some glasses and live a few more fun experiences.

However, there are cases that go wrong. Poor 14-year-old Toby Robicelli didn’t have the illusion of Christmas Day for long . Six hours after receiving the gift from him, the boy was on his way to the ER. Apparently, he lost his balance while playing Superhot VR , —a shooter , don’t think wrong—, fell to the ground and broke his kneecap . Her mother also ended up in the X-ray room, because when she saw her son’s leg, she fainted and also hurt herself when she collapsed. Come on, they started the day with a headset and ended it with a set of crutches.

This is just one case in the long list of crippled victims of virtual reality. Dislocated shoulders, broken legs, and smashed televisions are more prevalent than it seems. There are cases of cuts while practicing virtual boxing or even friendly fire in the living room, accidentally hitting children, partners and pets while playing tennis. This already happened at the time with the Nintendo Wii, but virtual reality adds more points of danger by depriving the user of his senses.

Of course, some officials from Sony and Meta have made some public statements to prevent their customers from getting hurt while enjoying virtual reality. According to these spokespersons, it is essential to clear the surroundings before starting to play virtual reality. In the same way, they recommend that the buyers of these products study the safety manual of the devices well. Doctors have also spoken about it. Jay Kim, Professor of Environmental Health at Oregon State University recommends taking frequent breaks, interrupting play to avoid the dreaded gorilla arm syndrome, which is a very intense muscle pain produced when we spend a lot of time with our arms raised, similar to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Source > WSJ