Australia has a reputation for, well, a lot of things. One of them is that Australians are a hardy people. This should not be surprising since even the most innocent-looking critter is probably deadly and most of the actual Australian landscape is a murderous desert.
Which means it makes sense that an Australian would be the one to set the endurance record for VR. If you though spending two hours in Eve Valkyrie was a feat, try spending 36 hours with an HTC Vive strapped to your face.
That’s exactly what Jack McNee of LPVR did in a Guinness record attempt. That a full eleven hours more than the previous record of 25 hours. That record was set on 27 January 2017 by Georgie Barrat from the UK.
Tilt and Whirl
So what did Jack actually do in the VR world for 36 hours? Did he fly spaceships? Shoot terrorists? Race a rally car?
Nope, he spend 36 hours playing Tilt Brush. Perhaps this was chosen to put as little strain on him as possible, but honestly painting for a day and a half sounds incredibly boring. Tilt Brush technically counts as a game since you can play stuff like hangman in it, which Jack duly did.
Since he couldn’t remove the Vive for the duration of the attempt Jack needed to be fed and, ahem, helped with bathroom stuff by an equally heroic support team. I don’t know about you, but for most people just staying awake for 36 hours straight is impossible.
Jack seemed none the worse for wear when he came out of VR although in a video interview posted to VR Corner’s Facebook page he did note a feeling of numbness from the neck down. Although presumably this was not physical, but rather a psychological feeling of dissociation.
A Good Cause
The attempt wasn’t just done for a laugh or bragging rights, but actually raised money for the Reach Foundation, a charity that helps young people deal with a whole range of problems they may face in life. During the livestream of the event about $400 was raised for Reach, which is not to be sniffed at. Of course if you feel like dropping them a few bones after the fact that’s perfectly OK too.
Captured for Posterity
Since LPVR is in fact a YouTube channel it means that you can sit through the entire record attempt. The whole thing has been recorded over a whopping eleven clips. The longest of which is almost 12 hours long.
We recommend that you just skip to the highlights since just watching Jack for 36 hours is, once again, pretty much impossible. Even if you take breaks.
Lots To Learn
Attempts like these are interesting for more than just entertainment reasons. We really don’t know what long term exposure to VR can do to a person physically or psychologically, but now that VR is an off-the-shelf product expect to see people spend more and more time in VR worlds instead of the real world. Will this be bad or good? The jury is still out on that one.