Last yearI bought a VR headset in anticipation then-forthcoming Resident Evil 4 port. (I have a problem, I know.) Since then, I have played quite a bit in VR. Or rather, I was until it got so damn hot that I now prefer to do anything but put a hot, sweaty VR headset on my face or sit next to a big PC or console. pumping out warm air.
Update: 07/21/22: This story was originally published on August 2, 2021. It has been updated to include the European heat waves of 2022 and other news.
Record temperatures were recorded in the US last summer., even in places that have historically avoided such outrageous heat. As well as these heatwaves keep hitting millions of people, leading to death. Now, in 2022 Europe experiences worst heat wave in historysetting new and dangerous temperature records. This summer is so hot Google and other companies struggle to keep servers running as they fail due to extreme heat. Meanwhile, Valve and Nintendo are warning people that steam deck as well as Switch may not work properly under these extreme conditions.
I’m saying all this to make it clear that the incredible heat wave we’re seeing right now is serious and hurting and killing people. Obviously, the fact that I can’t comfortably play video games is way down the list of problems caused by global warming. But it’s still annoying, and by interacting with others who experience this heat, it’s clear that I’m not alone.
I live in Kansas where we have fortunately been able to avoid the warmer temperatures seen elsewhere such as Seattle and the UK.. Even in this heat, I can’t comfortably play VR games given how sweaty and uncomfortable the headset gets. When you consider it many good VR games ask you to stand up, move around, and use the motion controls, the perspective becomes even less appealing. It’s easy to overheat on these hot days. It’s a shame because I love to play VR games like Bit Saber; I just can’t do it when the temperature fluctuates around or above 100.
It’s not just VR that’s uncomfortable to play in these abnormally turbulent times. More graphically impressive games on my PC cause extra heat in my tiny home office. The latest consoles also throw out shocking amounts of hot air when you play games that push the hardware. The Xbox Series X, in particular, expels hot air at high speeds very efficiently. This, of course, is very good for the console. But it also means that my mini jet engine is cooking me alive. At least it’s quiet while I’m melting.
I have spoken to some friends who are experiencing similar problems. Some of them are avoiding certain games on certain platforms right now because it’s so damn hot, and because it’s expensive and bad for the environment to run air conditioning all day. Personally, I try to limit the frequency of turning on the AC system in our apartment and can I save money and electricity by skipping some sessions GTA Onlinethis seems like a good compromise.
And of course, as the participants of this once popular show often said: “Winter is coming.” Well, the first autumn, then winter. The fact is, cooler and colder days are just around the corner. But as these extreme weather and climate changes become more frequent and extreme every year, I expect the summer months to be an even worse time to use electronics that produce tons of heat.
Of course, when things get worse, being able to comfortably play games will probably be one of my lower priorities, after things like finding water, cooling off, and fighting rogue bandits hunting for whatever resources they can find. However, I will miss video games.