I’m not what you think of when you think of a “gamer” well mostly because I’m not. However, when you have 3 boys you quickly learn that gaming will be part of your life (my daughter is not a big gamer, she is given every opportunity to participate but not a fan). My boys have a PS3 and iPads. They’re still young – 12, 10 and 8 – so we’re just starting. When Sonya invited me and the rest of the women of Auburn Lane (here to learn more about us) to experience Windows Mixed Reality we were all in. I wanted to learn about the future of gaming and what my sons where sure to be getting into – so did all the other women who are also mothers.
I am going to be very honest – Microsoft had people there and they led us on the adventure while holding our hands (ok some of us needed more hand holding then the others – namely me). You need a PC ( with Windows 10 to operate it) and headsets before you start. Microsoft doesn’t make the head sets, however, there are lots of great options on the market. We wore the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset with Motion Controllers. Make sure you adjust them and tighten them accordingly.
I was told that all you need to do is plug the system into your computer and follow the prompts. I also learned that mixed reality is the blend of the virual reality world and use of controllers – meaning that you have to move to be playing. The controllers are paired via Bluetooth with the headset to interact with each other. With one controller in each hand you can use the triggers and buttons to perform functions. It took me a while to figure out how to use everything. I am positive my boys would figure it our in seconds.
We were transported into a beautiful beach house with (what seemed like) millions of game options but in reality its like 20,000 Windows apps and 360 videos plus all the other content you can get – so to give you a taste you can play games, launch Netflix, solve puzzles, enjoy your favourite apps or go on a tour of Machu Picchu as one of us did. I mean it’s not just Machu Picchu you can explore but you get the idea.
You need about 10 feet of clear space when you are playing Mixed Reality because you will be moving when you play and we all played MR: Move Out of the Room. Move Out of the Room is an Escape Room game with lots of different tasks you need to complete – like find clues, secret codes, keys – to get the heck out. With the headset we were able to walk around the room, peer behind objects and look into other spaces. With the motion controllers we were able to virtually grab items and I have to admit I made such a mess in that room because I didn’t have to clean it up so there. I was throwing everything.
I learned that with Virtual Reality (VR) gaming there is a fear of feeling “woozy” and to make sure this doesn’t happen you need to do a few things – remember you have to have the headset secured at the right eye view and take breaks from the screen. I played for about a half an hour and didn’t feel anything but if you are sensitive to VR please take care. Sonya is the most sensitive and she didn’t report any problems.
I did get caught in the wires a few times but still had a great time playing. I’ve been told it’s just a matter of time before these units are wireless. Then I say all bets are off! It was great to experience VR with Microsoft Mixed Reality and peer into my future because the future is now.