The virtual reality etiquette guide

VR headset and pants = strong look
The virtual reality etiquette guide

Before long we'll all be spending our days wearing VR headsets 24/7, looking like Daft Punk on dress-down Fridays. One problem with being immersed like this for long periods of time is that we won't be able to see what's happening around us, so the chances of being unwittingly rude or uncouth are increased somewhat.

Well, don't worry your pretty helmet-covered head about it. Simply follow our 8-point guide of dos and don'ts and you'll avoid upsetting strangers (and loved ones) in your less realistic world…

Don't… crunch your popcorn loudly

Or unwrap your sweets noisily or slurp on your gigantic drink. We may be in a virtual cinema now, but you're still being a very real audio annoyance in two dimensions and fully deserve to have your popcorn quietly replaced with a bear trap.

Do… remember who you really are

And what you're capable of. Just because you're getting quite good at Surgeon Simulator, it does not give you the right to answer "yes" to "Is anybody in here a doctor?!" And just because you're feeling pretty confident on Top Gun Trainer, doesn't mean you should start hanging around military bases asking fighter pilots if you can "have a quick go". Also, that's, erm, not a flight stick you're holding. Put it away, dude.

Don't… mess about with VR in airports

Or on planes. If you try to go through security or passport control while wearing a VR headset, you'll probably be viewed as suspicious. That strange, hurty vibration you're feeling while you play a war sim on the plane? That's not part of the VR experience, you're being tasered because you were shouting about guns. Just be sensible.

Do… take this relationship advice

1 – Google Cardboard and Street View VR will never be the same as an actual romantic trip to Paris. 2 – No matter how still you think you're sitting while watching virtual reality porn, you're not. 3 – Don't try to put a Gear VR on during sex, even if it's dark. They'll know… they'll just know.

The virtual reality etiquette guide

Don't… tell anyone why you paid so much

If your partner, friends or family question why you spent $399 on a headset and $999 on a gaming PC to run it, do not under any circumstances answer: "Because it'll help me escape from this boring hell hole of an existence." If you do, you're likely to isolate people. (If that's your aim then ignore this advice.)

Do… keep some shred of dignity

VR headset and pants is the new naked and socks. And close the cubicle door - you may be lost in a magical adventure world, but to everyone else you're still on the loo. By the same token, know your time and place. So don't tell the person next to you to "unplug me when it's over" during a wedding ceremony, especially if you're the bride.


Don't… see any surface as your next "gaming platform!"

If you're playing virtual snooker, it's just not on to lean across someone's table in Bella Pasta and pot their dry white wine into their lap; nor is it acceptable to jump onto someone's train table and use their Upper Crust chicken baguette to lightsaber them in the face. Respect boundaries and personal space.

Do… take the damn headgear off

And immerse yourself in actual reality every now and then. You don't want to become the VR version of the guy who's always got a pair of Beats around his neck whether he's in a t-shirt or a tuxedo. (Nobody needs music that much). And try to remember to say things like "I'm having a really nice time" rather than "this would be so much better if I had my helmet".

Add your own VR etiquette tips in the comments below.


Shop for VR headsets on Amazon

Oculus Rift
Oculus Rift
$499.99
PlayStation VR
PlayStation VR
$399.99
HTC Vive
HTC Vive
$799
Samsung Gear VR
Samsung Gear VR
$79.99

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