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Whether or not it turns out to be the game-changer we’re hoping for, 2016 will be the year of virtual reality. Unfortunately, some people will be finding out the hard way how intense this new technology can be…

With Oculus Rift and HTC’s Vive already priced and set for launch, and Sony expected to announce a release date for its PlayStation VR headset any day now, you can bet your last gold coin—or ring if you were more of a Sega kid—that you’ll find yourself wearing a virtual reality headset at some point in the next 18 months or so.

Virtual reality has come a long, long way since those enormous, cranium-crushing creations of the 1990s, and with three major players putting vast sums of cash, love, and R&D into their respective headsets, we’re now tantalisingly close to the VR dream many of us had as kids.

▼ Weird that this never caught on…

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 17.22.25YouTube/Raoul33

The technology’s main selling point is its immersion. We may not have achieved 100-percent photo-realstic games yet, but with a virtual reality headset strapped on, that line between fantasy and reality immediately becomes more blurred than ever before. Think back to the first time you experienced a 3D show at a theme park like Universal Studios or Disney World; the way you instinctively recoiled as things lunged out of the screen. Now triple the intensity of that feeling as you realise that, even when you look away, so long as you have the headset on, you’re still very much in that virtual world.

And this isn’t just the case for technophobes, either. Check out this clip of one of our very own RocketNews24 writers experiencing “The Deep” on PlayStation VR (then Project Morpheus) at a past E3 trade show. Michelle here is far from a gaming noob—she’s a video game veteran and has more digital kills to her name than most of us in the office combined—but it’s still all too much for her at some points in the demo.

Looks like fun, eh?

And while the technology will be used for so much more than just playing horror games or watching blood-pumping escape sequences, it’s worth bearing in mind just how much more intense VR makes the images that were previously restricted to just our TV sets.

Here’s Rei Kikukawa, a presenter on Tokudane!, a morning news show which airs on Japan’s Fuji TV, experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Little does she know that she’s about to give her cornflake-munching viewers quite the wake-up.

Come on now, Rei, this is Japan—you should probably know by now that nothing good can come from peering into a spooky well…

Something tells us we’ll be sticking to kids’ games and driving sims when we finally strap on a headset of our own…

Source/featured image: YouTube/Sdasad sa h/t Kotaku US