The world of online VR is a strange and relatively new domain in gaming, allowing players to interact with each other in a way that’s more immersive than ever before, assuming you have the all the gear to do so.
Whilst making a video in VRChat, YouTube content creator, Rogue Shadow VR, captured another player having a seizure while others crowded around the man’s avatar. While these kinds of multiplayer VR experiences generally revolve around griefing or being questionable weirdos (I’m looking at you, Ugandan Knuckles meme), the majority of nearby players cut the shit to assist.
You can see the clip of the incident below, which was posted with the permission of the seizing player.
The player in question, who goes by the gamer name, DrunkenUnicyclist, was wearing a number of motion sensors on his body at the time of the incident, which, coupled with his laboured breathing, allowed other players to recognise he was in trouble.
It’s an incredibly stressful situation, particularly when all they could do was look on and make sure he was ok. Aside from a couple of assholes who kept joking around, it’s nice to see the community do whatever they could to help, as little as it ultimately was.
After a little while, DrunkenUnicyclist began responding, letting others know he was alright and that it’s not the first time he’s suffered a seizure. Rogue Shadow says he posted the video to spread awareness of the condition that caused the episode and VR’s impact on it.
“This video is being shared for the purposes of spreading awareness of epilepsy which must be considered with the emergence of virtual reality on both the industry and individual users scale,” the description reads. “This is also being shared for the purpose of analyzing and documenting the nature of this occurrence and the reactions of bystanders in Virtual Reality which is an unprecedented situation.”
Luckily, DrunkenUnicyclist is doing just fine.
As VR becomes more affordable and widespread, we’ll likely see more situations like this emerge. Had this happened in a traditional online game, it would probably go unnoticed. But even though users could identify what was happening, there was nothing they could do. “We didn’t even know what part of the planet this person lived on. All we could do was observe,” Rogue Shadow said in his video.
At least we know the majority of players are willing to offer support when someone’s in trouble.