Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Rift First Reactions [DK 1]

Everyone who knows I own a Rift wants to try it out. In fact, I can’t count how many demos I’ve given since getting it last October. Aside from being really fun to see that "wow" moment when someone first moves their head, it has also given me some good ideas for VR usability. Unfortunately, with all the demos I did, I wasn't writing anything down. Time to stop screwing around and do some science.


These notes include reactions from 26 first time Rift users (14 women, 12 men), ranging in age from 11 to 84.

The demos tried were TuscanyDon’t Let GoMeld Media GigantosaurusVRChicken Walk, Dino Town, Proton Pulse, TNG EngineeringEnterprise and Fortune Teller (my own work-in-progress).  The PS3 controller was used with Tuscany, Chicken Walk, and Enterprise. Keyboard with Don’t Let Go, Tuscany, and TNG Engineering. And, nothing is required for Meld Media GigantosaurusVR and Proton Pulse.  Time spent using the Rift was between 5 and 10 minutes per person.

Of the 26:
  • 6 would consider themselves to be gamers. 
  • 8 said they get motion sickness easily.


  • 6 did not look around during the demo until prompted. 
  • 14 felt symptoms of motion sickness.
  • 7 of the 8 who had said they get motion sickness easily reported symptoms while using the Rift. 
  • Everyone who used the keyboard during a demo needed help finding the keys more than once. 
  • 2 gamepad users had trouble using the gamepad. All others had no issues.
  • 12 commented on having an avatar or lack of avatar (depending on the demo used).

User comments

On motion sickness
  • “Felt motion sickness when walking along the curved wall [of the Enterprise Bridge] but not elsewhere.” 
  • “Down the stairs was nauseating.” 
  • Turning around was very nauseating” 
  • “Felt motion sick all of a sudden. I thought my body should have hit something going through the door but it didn’t.” [Note: this was a very large/wide man.]
  • “Looking in one direction while moving in another direction was the most nauseating.”
On having an avatar/ lack of avatar
  • “I felt comfortable being an orb in space but it was like I was viewing video from a hovercraft. In Don’t Let Go the body was very convincing.” 
  • “I have a shoulder!”  Said by a smallish woman. This was after the knives in Don’t Let Go. 
  • “Where are my legs. This is weird!”
  • "Found my shirt!"
  •  “Very visceral” “That is some messed up stuff”[said regards to the spider]
  • “I have no body! This is so funny!"
  • “Cool! I can see myself!

 On what they loved
  • “I love the butterflies!” (3) 
  • “Oh, are those birds? How cool!”
  •  “I felt totally immersed.”
  • “I didn’t think to look around when looking at a screen.” 
  • “I wish I could look at things closely.”
  • "Felt like I wanted to reach out and touch things”
  • “The only way to play is in a swivel chair.”

Note: This post was updated on June 23, 2014 to include the reactions of  6 additional test users.  This will be the last of the test results for the DK 1.