The art of binge-watching has already been perfected by TV addicts. But this weekend, a new kind of binge-watching took place—setting a Guinness World Record for the most time spent watching visual content in virtual reality.
Using Oculus Rift VR headsets, two participants, Alex Christiso and Alejandro Fragoso, binge-watched 50 hours of non-stop VR movie content in lower Manhattan. The videos ranged from immersive content like Invasion and Stranger Things VR to streaming video via CyberLink’s PowerDVD 17 software and the Netflix VR app.
Arranged by CyberLink, the record was officially set on Monday and follows a previous Guinness World Record set for 25 hours of VR marathon gaming in January. (Others have claimed longer VR gaming marathon records, but this is the only one listed by Guinness World Records.)
To guard against possible harmful effects, Dr. Robert Glatter, assistant professor of emergency medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, Northwell Health, examined the two participants both before and after the VR binge. There were no reports of any ill effects.
Some of the more hardcore VR gamers out there are already accustomed to spending upwards of three to eight hours in VR environments, but we know less about the habits of VR users when it comes to watching video and immersive content.
From my own experience, binge-watching via a traditional TV is far easier than spending the same amount of time binge-watching in VR, mainly due to logistics. For example, drinking beverages and snacking (the fuel of all binge-watchers) is a bit harder while wearing a VR headset. And hitting pause to take a bathroom break is slightly more jarring when it means first removing the immersive environment provided by the VR headset.
Because of those factors, I’m betting that most VR binge-watching will be limited to sessions of just a few hours at a time (at least with current set-ups). But it’s good to know that, if we wanted to, we could dive even deeper into the binge-watching Matrix.