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The Walk: A Virtual Reality Experience That Acrophobes Should Stay Away From

Could you imagine what it would be like to walk across the Sky? How about on a thin rope? The famous artist Philippe Petit wasn’t only able to imagine it, but actually did it in 1974. He walked nearly 1,400 feet in the air, traversing across the World Trade Centers. For an acrophobic, that’s enough thought not to even look at a sky-scraper.

The reason I bring this up, is the VR experience that accompanied the  film showcasing Philippe Petit’s amazing feat. The film featured Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Phillipe, recruiting a team to help him cross the World Trade Towers on a piece of rope. Before the film was released, Sony created a virtual reality app to promote the movie.

As you can guess, The Walk VR app put’s the user at one end of the rope, peering at the other Trade Center from across. Some people who have tried this experience, couldn’t even make their first steps, because of the immense hieght the experience simulated. Some even was wobbling on solid ground while trying to balance themselves on the virtual rope.

RoadToVR explains that “this Walk experience brings up a really interesting tension between your primal brain and your rational brain.” Needless to say, it achieved the very definition of ‘presence.’

The beauty of consumer ready VR headsets, is that you don’t need to attend a special event to experience The Walk. The app is available for mobile virtual reality headsets, such as Powis Custom or Merge VR. It will also be available for PlayStation VR once it is released.

If you already own a mobile VR headset, go ahead and try out The Walk app, as it will provide you insight into another scare-tactic technique that virtual reality can employ, relatively safely. Unless you suffer from acrophobia.

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