We believe that we can usefully describe VR experience and product in an ordinal manner.
1st Order Effects: Being There [observing the virtual world… for instance, virtual tours, to Greece, The Met, or Alpha Centauri]
2nd Order Effects: Doing There [interacting with the virtual world… gaming dominates this category]
3rd Order Effects: Doing Here and There [Interacting with and performing meaningful activity in the virtual and real worlds, simultaneously… includes flight simulators, etc…. and – most important for us – archery].
These effects are progressively more persistent and resilient to change, and the most persistent by far are 3rd Order Effects, because they are both driven by real world urgency and enabled by virtual world sensory impact: everything looks, sounds, feels, and for most practical purposes for the player, IS real.
In other words, 3rd Order Effects most powerfully combine fantasy and reality. They therefore have the greatest potential to become emotionally compelling, not to say addictive.
Archery is the most available and effective 3rd Order VR activity.
Every one of the sensory and behavioural dynamics of virtual/fantasy archery is available to anyone in the real space in which they can hold and draw a bow.
There is no other significant physical activity that has this nature: none. Typing on a keyboard is by definition the closest available activity.
But you cannot bowl a real bowling ball, or safely swing a real bat or a golf club [nor can you conveniently mimic all the ground conditions that are inherent to playing golf].
Fencing is the closest to archery. Though the space required to properly and realistically fence with an opponent is significant and rarely convenient indoors, advancements in haptic feedback and a reconsideration of the fencing space make it a compelling alternative.
Shooting a firearm is the next closest, though the exertion necessary to perform the essential task of aiming and pulling a trigger is smaller than the task of drawing a bow. Beyond this, haptics can mimic the recoil of a fired weapon.
Cycling and Rowing are also excellent candidates, because the real activity can happen in “room space,” in a bedroom or living room, or garage.