With the UK in lockdown and most of my hobbies inaccessible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, I turned to the Oculus Quest to help me keep a level head. The Oculus Quest helps me stay active, stay social, and, when needed, be anti-social. It has a wide variety of games to help me out and a growing community that provides a wide set of experiences in virtual reality.
Before I jump into how the Oculus Quest helps me not feel so stir crazy, I want to emphasize that many people around the world have genuine concerns and challenges due to coronavirus. People have died, gotten ill, lost loved ones, and lost jobs. In the grand scheme of things, having to stay in my house for a while isn't that big of a deal. But if you are stuck in your house, and you do feel like bouncing off the walls, you might be able to use some of the same techniques to help you out.
Staying active, both mentally and physically
At the start of the year, I ramped up my exercise routine. I started going three times a week and worked my way up to five or six times per week. My workouts are mostly cardio, as my primary goal is weight loss. Last week, gyms in the UK were all shut down, meaning I couldn't keep up with my workouts. I was bummed, but understanding because even the cleanest gym puts people in close proximity and has people sharing equipment. In comes the Oculus Quest and a number of games that get me up and moving.
While stuck inside, I've played more Beat Saber (opens in new tab) and Moon Rider and tried out games like OhShape (opens in new tab). These provide a variety of ways to move around, and if played long enough can make me work up a sweat. I haven't been able to burn hundreds of calories in a single session like I do at the gym, but they've helped me bridge the gap. I'm probably going to grab BoxVR and some other games to mix things up.
Another aspect of playing games that get me out of a seat is keeping me mentally active. I'm fortunate enough to be able to work from home, so I can still engage myself mentally while writing articles and testing out games, but my life outside of work got shut down, so I had to fill the gaps.
The American football team I coach can't practice or play, my gym is closed, and we're now supposed to only go outside once per day while avoiding contact.
All of that put together can trap a man inside his head. Being able to jump into some virtual worlds has helped me not feel so restricted.
Get up and move
Beat Saber is a blast to play regardless of what's going on with the world, but it's helped me stay active and engaged while stuck in my house.
Staying social in isolating times
I live with my wife and my brother-in-law, so I'm in better shape than most when it comes to being isolated during these crazy times. That being said, it's nice to be able to spend time or interact with more than just the two people I live with. To do this, some of us from Android Central and our family of sites are going to have get-togethers online. We already do this through Google Hangouts, in fact, we have Hangouts frequently throughout the year to socialize, but VR allows us to do some cool get-togethers. We're setting up some BigScreen viewing sessions to watch things together even though we can't go to the physical cinema.
I also plan to use Rec Room (opens in new tab) and some other games to interact with new people. I normally take my dogs out on long walks. I also coach a sports team and meet lots of new players and opponents. While things are locked down, I don't meet as many new people. VR provides some unique avenues to do just that.
Bigscreen lets you watch movies and shows with your friends. You can sit inside a virtual theater and enjoy a movie night "next to" your pals.
Getting some space inside a house
While I love my family, everyone needs alone time. It's really nice to be able to grab my Oculus Quest, pop it on, and forget about anything outside my VR play space. My wife and brother-in-law need alone time too, and they can each go do their own respective things, and I can play some Vader Immortal or enjoy any other title that gets my mind off of things.
As much as virtual reality can place you into worlds, it can take you out of yours. There's something relaxing about just detaching for a bit and playing on the Oculus Quest, especially during times like these.
Getting through it
As I said to start this article, my "struggles" during the coronavirus outbreak aren't really a big deal, but they are inconvenient. Having to stay inside my house has definitely added to my anxiety and stress levels. Being able to jump inside my Oculus Quest provides a getaway from the world and a gateway to the outside of my house, depending on what I need at the time.
Taking you where you need to go
The Oculus Quest can bring you closer to your friends or get you some alone time, depending on what you need.
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