If you spend a lot of time in VR, then you have to have heard of Rec Room VR. If you haven’t, you’re missing out (the game is free and available on Steam and Oculus Home). This game is the virtual reality social club where you play active games with friends from all around the world. Customize your appearance, then party up to play multiplayer games like Paintball, 3D Charades, and even co-op adventures! Or just hang out in The Lounge with a free membership required. We had the chance to speak about the game, vr fitness and social active gaming with Nick Fajt from Against Gravity, the makers of Rec Room VR.
VRFI: How important is active gameplay and competition to this game, especially in light of the fact that any skill level can be a part of it?
Nick Fajt: With Rec Room, we’ve always leaned toward active gameplay and interactions that could only be possible in VR. Often times, those interactions are based on real world sports or activities. Rec Room is all about bringing people together, and we were inspired by the many ways in which sports and friendly competition create social connections in the real world – from intramural sports leagues all the way up to the Olympics. We wanted to bring some of those social dynamics into VR.
VRFI: There are a lot of reasons why people enjoy this game. Please tell us about how you see people interacting with the game. Also, how do you feel about people using this game for fitness?
NF: Rec Room is all about hanging out with your friends, old and new, just like you would in the real world. If you want to workout with friends in Rec Room, we think that’s great! It’s probably not the primary reason most of the players jump into Rec Room, but we’re always excited to see people using Rec Room in ways we never initially imagined. It’s really exciting to see the ingenuity and creativity of the community.
VRFI: How important is the community feeling of this game?
NF: The community is the heart of what makes Rec Room such a special and unique place. Our goal with Rec Room has been to foster a community that’s fun and welcoming to people from all walks of life. It’s incredibly important that people feel that sense of community the moment they step into the app. It’s core to everything we do, all the games we build, every design decision we make.
VRFI: Do you have a sense of what experiences within the game are the most popular?
NF: It really varies by individuals and their moods. If someone is in the mood for a high intensity game with friends, they might play one of the co-op activities like Quest for the Golden Trophy or Rise of Jumbotron. If they’re looking for something more competitive, they might play Dodgeball or Paintball. If they’re looking for something a bit more social, and low key, they might play Charades or attend on of the weekly Murder Mystery parties. Rec Room gives people a lot of different options for connecting with each other, and we see most people taking advantage of that variety.
VRFI: You created a game that has a lot of implications in fitness if played that way by the individual user. How do you see fitness and vr evolving together?
NF: Over the next few years, I suspect you’ll see more VR headsets with hand controllers, inside-out tracking, and without cables. I believe each of those advances will enhance the range of physical action they can take and the sense of presence they feel in VR. If people can comfortably spend more time in VR, you’ll see the user cases of VR expand beyond games into things like communication, collaboration, and potentially even categories like fitness.