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If you roll your eyes at the mention of VR because you never found the idea of Star Trek’s holodeck or the world of The Matrix very attractive, then you’ve come to the right place. After all, VR gaming isn’t for everyone, but it turns out there’s a universe of really engaging stuff for VR-curious non-gamers. Virtual reality has come a long way since its inception in the shopping mall culture of the 90s. Today, VR is downright cool, no matter who you are or how little interest you have in technology.
Today, you can use a Quest 2 headset and immerse yourself in everything from dance parties to sculpting and painting to marveling at the most impressive scenic vistas in the world. Meditation, chess and challenges to overcome phobias are just a few of the ways VR isn’t just aimed at the kids Weird stuff† Sure, there will always be games for gamers, but the world of virtual reality has begun to expand in ways that even nana and pop-pop can get into. Here are some of our top picks for the best VR experiences for non-gamers.
The VR headset to get started
Create the feeling of a cozy living room
If watching a movie in your own living room has lost some of its appeal, jump into the Netflix VR experience in a viewing room. It gives any Netflix content the VR treatment of a cozy and clean living room and makes you feel surrounded by TV shows and movies on a really big screen. And if you like the idea of lounging in VR and watching shows on a bigger screen than in your own real-life living room, don’t forget that there are Amazon Prime and YouTube VR apps also on the Quest 2.
Visiting some of the world’s most beautiful places in high-definition virtual reality is a must for those with a wanderlust or love of nature. You don’t need to pack a bag or carry a passport to be transported instantly around the planet. Brink Traveler gives you your own personal travel guide for each location, meticulously captured in VR, so you can get to know the area as you explore and hike. Visit real locations around the world, including Iceland’s waterfalls, Horseshoe Bend, Mount Whitney, The Wave, Arches National Park and more.
Treat yourself to immersive mindfulness meditation
Looking for inner peace? Tripp is a meditation app that uses guided meditation, breathwork, mindfulness techniques and stunning imagery to bring the user to a peaceful zen-like state of being. Whether you want to calm your anxious mind or seek a personal Nirvana, this is an accessible path to your goal. Anywhere you use your Quest 2, you can enter a state of meditation — from airports to WeWork desks to home offices.
Dance, box and sweat with training led by professionals
FitXR is our first choice for a seriously sweaty VR workout† Pick a coach – some talk more than others – and pick a HIIT, boxing, or dance workout that suits your mood. This app was originally designed as a boxing workout, so it involves a lot of heart-pounding squats and punches for a full-body toning meltdown. There are plenty of music and scene choices, from pop to rock and peaceful mountains to digital worlds, to further customize each experience. Anyone who is bored with the same old workouts over and over will enjoy this app because of the seemingly endless number of options available.
Become a chess master
Chess is said to improve focus, memory and problem solving – all essential qualities to play on your A-game in every aspect of life. In Chess Club, you can play against the computer or human players in three beautiful environments, such as a grand palace and Stonehenge, on progressive difficulty settings. Play a standard tabletop version or animate each piece for a live-action experience and watch the knight fight a pawn, for example. Whichever options you choose, Chess Club will help everyone improve their skills and appreciate chess in a whole new way.
Learning a new language
If, despite the best of intentions, you haven’t picked up a new language during the Covid-19 lockdowns – and who has? – then give Mondly a try. Enter a world in one of 30 languages where speech recognition software, realistic scenarios and intuitive learning modes create an incredibly useful VR experience. Whether you’re preparing for a move abroad or just want to know enough to show off to a colleague or friend, this app is a smart download.
Take part in the history of the American black experience
Some really gripping documentaries are starting to appear in VR, such as Traveling While Black, a non-interactive 20-minute look at the history of how black Americans’ rights to travel in their own countries are often restricted. You sit next to real people – on buses and in diners – as you listen to their stories firsthand for an up-close and emotional experience that brings history to life and makes it very personal.
Bring a full art experience to life
Google’s 3D painting app is a new medium for artistic environments that creative people can tinker with endlessly. With the remotes you can paint with fire and sparkle or sculpt with paint and textures like stone or the universe. Design an immersive world at the whim of your imagination.
Overcome fear of heights
It’s not a game – it’s a sensory experience that will help you overcome your fear of heights, in which you force yourself to step on and over a plank 80 stories in the sky. The app has different scenarios that allow you and your friends to explore your comfort level with dizzying heights. Choose between walking on his eponymous plank and different hero modes in which you fly to save the day amid city skyscrapers. Fear of heights is a reason to try this out, but it’s also just plain entertaining or a good ego boost.
Play in a digital sandbox for clay sculptures
Do you remember Sculpey colored modeling clay from when you were a kid? Now imagine playing with an endless supply of them in a digital atmosphere with no sticky or color-transferring clutter. If you’ve ever wanted to sculpt a statue, build a house from scratch, or create an entire immersive world of clay, SculptVR is your tool to create anything you can imagine and then explore the finished project alone or with friends. .