VR adoption has been picking up the pace since the Oculus Quest 2 hit the market in 2020. The quality to price value provided by the Quest 2 brought VR into the mainstream like nothing before it. However, according to one insurance company in the UK, that has led to a 31% increase in VR-related insurance claims in 2021. Compared to 2016, the number of insurance claims involving VR was up 68% in 2021.
Aviva, the insurance company that provided data to The Guardian said it expects to receive even more claims in 2022. Aviva said claims frequently involved people launching controllers at TVs, swiping at objects and breaking them, as well as people crashing into their furniture. The damage caused by VR gaming is reminiscent of the Wii Sports trend of the late 2000s. Many novice gamers bought Wii consoles for the motion-controlled sports game. Shortly after, the news was filled with people who had broken their TVs after flinging a Wiimote at it. The issue was so prevalent that it even caused Nintendo to redesign the Wiimote’s safety strap. Nintendo also put warnings at the start of games to make sure people were using them properly.
As VR continues to make strides into the mainstream, these types of incidents are sure to become more common. Many VR enthusiasts have gone as far as to set up dedicated areas of their homes for entering the virtual worlds. While this isn’t possible for everyone, it might be something that becomes more common in the future if VR really takes off. For now, people will have to enjoy watching the various VR fail videos that have begun cropping up online. Subreddits like VRtoER are dedicated to showing off the funny, sad, and gory VR mishaps. As insurance claims rise, so will the content of those types of subreddits.