It’s Too Hot To Play VR
Last year I bought a VR headset in anticipation of the then upcoming Resident Evil 4 port. (I have a problem, I know.) I’ve played a lot of VR since then. Or rather, it was me, until it got so damn hot that now I’d rather do something else than put a hot, sweaty VR headset in my face or sit near a big PC or console pumping hot air.
Last summer, there were record temperatures in the United States, even in places that have avoided such unheard of heat in the past. These heat waves continue to affect millions of people, resulting in pass away. Now, in 2022, Europe is suffering the worst heat wave in history, with new and peril temperature records. The hot weather is so bad this summer that Google and other companies are having trouble keeping servers online when they go down due to the intense heat. Meanwhile, Valve and Nintendo are warning people that the Steam deck and Switch may not work properly in these extreme conditions.
All of this is almost certainly a symptom of the ongoing effects of global warming, which plunges our entire planet into weather-related chaos and destruction. In other words, shit is bad.
I say all this to make it clear that the incredible heat we are seeing now is serious and hurts and finishs people. Obviously, the fact that I can’t play comfortable video games is far down the list of problems caused by global warming. But it’s still annoying and when I talk to others who are experiencing this heat, it’s clear that I’m not alone.
I live in Kansas where we were fortunate to avoid some of the higher temperatures elsewhere in places like Seattle and the UK. Still, I can’t comfortably play VR games in this heat, considering how sweaty and uncomfortable the headset quickly becomes. If you take into account that many good VR games ask you to stand, move and use motion controls, the view becomes even less attractive. It’s an easy way to overheat on warmer days like this. It’s a shame because I like to play VR games like Beat Sabre; I just can’t do it while temperatures are hovering around or above 100.
It’s not just VR that feels uncomfortable in these unusually sizzling times. Graphically more impressive games on my PC cause extra heat to build up in my small home office. The recent consoles also spit out a shocking amount of hot air when playing games that push the hardware. The Xbox Series X in particular is very effective at quickly expelling burning hot air. Of course, this is very good for the console. But it also means that I have a mini jet engine that cooks me alive. At least it’s quiet while I melt.
I have talked to friends who have similar problems. Some of them are currently avoiding certain games on certain platforms because it’s too damn hot and because it’s expensive and polluting to work with the air conditioner all day. Personally, I try to limit how often I use the AC system of our apartment, and if I can save some money and electricity by skipping a few sessions of gta Online, It seems like a good compromise.
And for sure, as these people often said in this once popular show “” Winter is coming. First autumn, then winter. The point is: cooler and colder days are not far off. But as these extreme weather and climate changes become more frequent and extreme from year to year, I expect the summer months to become an even worse time to use electronics that produce tons of heat.
Of course, as things get worse, being able to play games comfortably, finding behind things like water, staying cool, and fending off roving bandits looking for resources will probably be one of my lower priorities. I will miss playing video games.