Did you grow up playing Super Mario Bros. on Nintendo or Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega? If you remember or grew up gaming in the 90s then playing Mario or Sonic in a virtual reality simulation game will be a dream come true!
Most games will have you using a tracked motion controller to move around in a virtual environment by pressing a button and quickly advancing forward or by teleporting around a map. Walk-O-Motion is a VR locomotion system that uses HMD head tracking with control trackers or a gamepad to simulate movement as you play VR games.
Cut Out Motion Sickness
Playing VR games where you run, jump, drive, swim, or fly in a first person or third person perspective can make some people feel nauseous.
Many times a user will feel really sick if they are playing these games while sitting down, but do well in games where they are able to stand up and move around with the game.
Walk-O-Motion, created by game developer nimSony, is great for reducing virtual motion sickness because it allows you to move in the real world in order to move in the game. Jogging in place to run through a near perfect first level of Super Mario Bros. will have you longing for more levels.
Use your legs to jump on top of high spots, Goombas, floating bricks, and to gather coins. Don’t fall into crevices and make sure to leap to get the castle flag at the end. If you want more of a challenge repeat the level by turning around and jogging in the opposite direction.
This is a demo game and isn’t endorsed by Nintendo, so you won’t be leveling up, advancing onto other stages, or get to listen to old school Mario music. Also, there’s no princess — sorry.
Run Like Sonic
The Walk-O-Motion locomotion program is compatible with the Oculus and the Vive headset for a recreation of Sonic the Hedgehog’s Act 1: Green Hill Zone. Jog in place to activate Sonic’s famously fast feet. Collect rings as you run and jump through the level, or jump onto springs to bounce higher. Speed through loops and spin through tunnels while strengthening your lower body and getting heart-friendly and fat burning cardio.
If a game has twists and turns it may turn some people off from playing a VR game due to the fear of motion sickness. This locomotion program will get your body moving within the real world as your brain is tricked into believing it’s really experiencing what’s going on. Celebrate getting to the end of the stage by going another round as Sonic. The downside — no Tails!
Controls and Other Things
Walk-O-Motion is currently selectively compatible with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. The Mario Bros. game is compatible with the Oculus and needs a PC controller to work, while the Sonic game runs off the Oculus and the Vive with their respective tracking controllers.
When using the Rift and playing Sonic, hold the A button to jump. To move in the game you have to jog or walk in real life to activate the movement of the analog joystick or touchpad at the same time. Get into a little ball and spin around the map by quickly crouching or squatting (a great thigh and glute exercise) in real life.
Vive users can use SteamVR to access mode settings there and need to use the down control on the right VR tracking controller to jump as Sonic.
If you’re playing Mario Bros. use the Oculus with an analog stick at the same time you walk and jog, or move forward or backward. Hold down the A button on the game controller and jump at the same time to do so in the game.
Looking To The Future
Currently, nimSony is creating a HALO-esque VR game you can walk and jog in. This first-person combat shooter is slated to have various automatic weapons, futuristic enemies to shoot at, and flying or floating abilities.
How To Get It
If you’d like to see stationary VR games turn into more immersive and action-packed versions of themselves, please donate to nimSony’s Patreon.