This week a the Guinness world record was set for the most continuous hours spent in virtual reality. Derek Westerman, from the Super Deluxe youtube collective was able to spend 25 straight unadulterated hours in a HTC Vive virtual reality headset to set this record.
It’s something we’ve all wanted to do isn’t it? Setting a world record, being the best at something, however novel it might be. We all want to be remembered in some way and go down in the history books. Ive always had a desire to hold a world record in something, but maybe thats because I was given the annual book of Guinness world records every Christmas throughout my childhood, and I would spend hours perusing through peoples endless talents or feats of endurance. The problem is that when you read one of these annuals (or many of them) it does dawn on you that most things have already been done and whilst i’m good at many things, i’m not sure if i’m a world record breaker or setter.
Then someone like Derek Westerman comes along and reminds you that it’s not about being the best at something. It’s about thinking of the idea first and making it ridiculous enough that no-one else really wants to do it. Thats the secret to having your name remembered throughout history (at least world record history anyway).
So, you’re probably wondering why? Westerman has said about this about his strive for glory “While many people, especially gamers, have spent a lot of time in Virtual Reality, it seemed important to set an official Guinness record with our current “excited-about-VR” climate, so we essentially had an official bench mark to beat.”
Whilst it might sound pretty novel and a bit of a waste of 25 hours, this record does actually answer questions that we have been wondering. Now that VR is set to be the next big thing in media consumption, it’s parameters have remained relatively untested. How long is too long to spend in VR headset without going crazy or it severely chaffing your face? Well 25 hours was enough for Derek, and we thinks that’s fairly encouraging, considering your average gamer probably won’t spend more than 4 hours a day gaming (remember I did say average there). Westerman thinks that “as time goes on, more and more people will be spending a lot more time in Virtual Reality — essentially living in it. And I wanted to be a part of the start of that process,” – well thanks for being a lab rat for us Derek.
You’ve probably been asking yourself what Derek did for 25 hour solidly in virtual reality. He probably played every title on the steam store in that time right? WRONG, very very wrong. Derek spent the entire 25 hours in Tilt Brush which is Googles app for creating art in full 3D. Now this wasn’t just some weird choice made in order to make this whole ordeal seem even more strange, it was actually a rule set by Guinness that he could only play one game for the whole duration of the stint. The idea behind his choice being that he wanted to pick something that gave him the most freedom with the least repetition and “painting in 3D space for 25 hours seemed like the best bet.”
To be honest we think he made the right choice there, even if I had to listen to most games audio for over 5 hours I would want to jump out a window. Credit to Derek for putting his own and virtual realities limits to the test.
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