VR Running: A Look at Locomotion

Are you ready to redefine running in VR?

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There has been a rather recent development that has taken hold over a few games and completely spawned a game all on its own. This update begs to change the need for a VR suspension machine to run in video games and it can be used in nearly every VR game that requires movement. It is a small improvement for VR and a massive overhaul for fitness as we go into the topic of Locomotion in VR. But with Sprint Vector helping us get the sensation of running from simply waving our arms, the game has been changed–if not rewritten. Competitive running has come to VR and it’s time for you to get ready to sweat, but not before you understand locomotion in VR. 

What is Locomotion and How does it work in VR?

While I could go into all the different variables that you need in order to just keep track of your VR hardware, let’s break this down into the much simpler terms or X, Y, -X, and -Y. We can track whether the controllers are moving from a positive X to a negative X, positive Y to a negative Y and then back again. This is all that is needed in order to provide locomotion in a game, but it’s a really simplistic notion of what is actually coded into the game.

How It Removes The Need For A Suspension Machine

There are tens of suspension machines offering the ability to really walk in the virtual world, but only a small handful of people will really want this machine if they have in-game access to locomotion. Logically, one would assume you would get a workout since you are also able to walk with a suspension machine, but the truth is that these suspension machines are nowhere near perfect as of now. Many players experience slips, find running difficult, and generally ruins the experience of games that have very wide maps. For instance, you might want it in a game where you are in a room, but I can’t imagine anyone willing to walk the entirety of Skyrim.

Locomotion in VR games provides half of the movement needed to run, but still has you standing. It is debatable right now, but I believe it is more intense on your body to move your arms back and forth extremely fast in comparison to running in the manner that these sorts of tech can actually provide. Since you need to move fast, and even faster in some games, the locomotion provides you with similar needs for endurance, especially since almost all of the game relies on your arms rather than your hands.

A Massive Overhaul for Fitness

As I’ve already mentioned, locomotion provides a very intense endurance training method. If the game incorporates their battles correctly then you may find that locomotion provides more of a challenge than just running. In running, you are moving in a constant direction, but a gamified experience can be so much more than simple running. The best way to train is a method that has been lost to us since we started using guns instead of swords in battle. That’s right, dueling can be as much more cardio and endurance intense than nearly every other form of training out there, which is why Boxing Games, like Knockout League, have always been the pinnacle of fitness video games.

However, this could easily change if a Martial Art game or a Sword fighting game was to be made as real as possible. In this type of game, you are constantly moving around and even if your main mode of walking to areas is by locomotion, you do have to duck and move around an opponent in order to truly attack them. This causes much more intensity than something like running and having to sustain it for a long period of time makes it nearly impossible to beat in terms of endurance training.

You can see some of the newer games already incorporating locomotion as a required task in the game and it adds a very real sensation of being in an environment that you can walk around in. However, as we see with Sprint Vector, it can be used for a lot more than just an additional method of moving around and can lead fitness in gaming to new heights.

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