C5. Provide a Safe Space

“VR is intense at times. I have somewhere to go within the game where I can take a breather from the experience. I don't need to pause the game because that takes me out of the experience, as a safe zone is provided to me if necessary.”

Players have a safe space within the game to take a mental and physical break from the VR experience without having to fully exit the game.

Due to the deeply immersive nature of VR, players may need a safe space to which they can temporarily retreat when they are feeling physically or psychologically overwhelmed. For example, players may grow tired after holding up their “gun” for a long period of play; thus, they may want to go somewhere within the game where they will not be attacked by enemies in order to relax their muscles. Also, in horror games and shooters, players may experience high levels of stress or feel overwhelmed due to the environment, and would like a place to go to recollect themselves (“take a breather”) before continuing the game.

This space is different from a pause button. Players do not have to pause the game (end immersion) in order to relax; instead, the game provides players who need it a space that acts as a safe zone.

Examples (adhered):

  • Resident Evil 7: There are safe areas in the game where players can save their progress. Enemies cannot detect the safe rooms, so players have time to reorganize their inventory and mentally recover.