Virtual Reality: the Newest Sports Venue

Virtual Reality headsets were the “it” gift for Christmas! Kids can’t get enough of VR hits like “Star Wars: Galactic Senate Proceedings” and “Resident Evil: PTSD Simulator”. And more and more content is coming to VR–including our reason for living, professional sports! So what’s it like to watch a basketball game in virtual reality?

If you’re watching in the Meta-verse formerly known as Facebook, you can choose different avatars. You can even interact with other fans, it’s just like being at a real game–except you’re in your living room talking to yourself. Here are some VR advantages and disadvantages–we’ll let you decide which are features and which are bugs!

You and the other participants can choose your own avatars. If you’ve always wanted to be a different person or a dog, this is how you’ll want to watch the game! It can be confusing, depending on what kind of avatars the basketball players pick. In the last Minnesota Timberwolves game against the Brooklyn Nets, Timberwolf Karl-Anthony Towns picked an avatar of Nets star Kevin Durant. Fans watching in VR were incredibly confused for the first half. The officials realized what was going on and made Towns change his avatar. He played as a crying poo emoji during the second half.

There are no penalties for throwing trash on the court. If you’re at a basketball game in person, it’s illegal to throw stuff at the players and officials. In the comfort of your living room, you can throw whatever you want!

When you look around in VR, it looks like you’re at the game. If you’re watching from a VR court-side seat, the coach or another fan might walk in front of you and obstruct your view. Just like at a real game! If you’re watching from a VR seat in the upper level, the avatar in front of you might be wearing a really tall hat and you have to keep leaning to peer around the hat. You lean to the left to see, and the hat guy also leans to the left so he can fish his wallet out of his right pants pocket to buy a cold beer. You lean to the right so you don’t miss any of the game, and the hat guy leans to the right to hand a $50 bill to the beer vendor. (Don’t fall for this scam! There is no beer in VR, unless you pour it yourself IRL.)

Ugh. *Of course* the dude with the Abraham Lincoln avatar sits right in front of you.

Streaking. Oh yeah, baby! If arena security can’t see you, they can’t stop you! Just be careful not to traumatize any family members who might be walking by your fan-cave.

You don’t smell any of the arena stinks. Yeah, there’s no mouth-watering popcorn scent to tempt you. But then again, when the dude sitting next to you rips ass, you can just laugh. VR isn’t sophisticated enough yet to let you smell the Meta-verse.

You can pay for your seats, just like at a real game. Court-side seats at a game can cost up to $10,000. Soon VR will be the same! So remember–if your date complains that you’re being cheap by doing dinner and a basketball game in your basement, you can dazzle them with your e-receipt! $20,000 for tickets + $6,000 for the ticket processing fees = one snazzy date night!

We hope that answers your questions and helps you decide if you want to give VR sports a try!

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