Thinking of giving a virtual reality headset as a gift? Here are some things you should know.

Some headsets are “tethered” – this means they are connected to a computer with a wire. These tend to have higher processing power and be able to support high-end games.  They also need a “VR ready” computer. The two major brands are Oculus and HTC Vive.  They are provide the immersive 3D experience gamers are looking for. 

Some headsets are “untethered” – this means you don’t need a wire. The computing power is stored right on the headset itself. This allows for more movement, but does not have as high of a processing power. This also limits the amount of playtime based on battery life before needing recharged.  The big player in this category is the Oculus Quest.  Provides the same immersive 3D experience as the Rift S, but without the computer. 

VR is an investment! The games and experiences cost money – however there are lots of free educational experiences available. For more details, see our website

Each company has their own “app” store to purchase games and experiences, similar to the Apple or Android app stores.  There are some free experiences available and others that carry the same pricing as games designed for consoles.  If you are looking for educational experiences, there are plenty to choose from.  Explore the solar system, take a tour of the Anne Frank house, or see how the Hoover Dam works. 

VR experiences are generally designed for teenagers and beyond.  There are still some questions on physical development of younger users and the intensity of the experiences themselves. There are also other considerations with the equipment as far as care and fit that make them better suited for older users. 

My high school students have explored VR in many ways and they find it’s engaging even after the novelty is over. There are whole new worlds out there to discover through VR. Happy holidays!

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