Virtual Reality’s Potential in Africa, and Beyond

Virtual reality has already changed gaming and video content delivery and is opening up conversations and awareness worldwide in the process.

Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality. Sourced from Unsplash

It wasn’t very long ago that the concept of virtual reality was about as foreign as a science fiction novel. Even people who had the money to afford the technology didn’t really want it, and it was too expensive for common people.

That’s all changing on a global scale, and quickly.

Virtual reality could represent the largest shift in the way people game worldwide and how they consume video too. Even regions with emerging internet access will be impacted by the technology surrounding virtual reality and 360-degree video recording. For areas that are war-torn or in need of the world’s spotlight, virtual reality could prove an immersive way to raise awareness.

Here are some areas of immersive technology that are changing the world for the better – and the fastest.

Streaming video

The market for watching video on demand is rising steeply. Seventy-eight percent of internet users watch a video online every week, and 55 percent watch one every day. That same group of people now expects a higher level of video content – and will soon want it in 3D. Flat photos and videos certainly make an impact, but that same material can leave an even more lasting impression when immersive technology is used. Streaming video used to be a luxury and now it’s quickly becoming the expected norm. That demand for live streaming video is elevating content quality for everyone worldwide, and access to it as well.

Sports content

Most people can’t afford courtside seats to the biggest sporting events worldwide but with 360-degree video, they can pay a fraction for up-close viewing. The technology of 360-degree videos is being tested at the Rio Olympic Games by the largest media outlets. Time, Sports Illustrated, and the BBC are among the media giants who are investing in 360-degree video and accompanying virtual reality viewing to bring higher engagement from viewers.

Denilson is a Brazilian football icon who explains that his attention to detail helped him lead his teams to Copa America, Copa del Ray and Brazilian League championships. 360-degree video will help bring that detail to life. In countries with less access to live sporting events, virtual reality can bridge the gap for fans. In the future, many people will use virtual reality headsets to access online for gamers in ZA to play online poker, roulette and slots. With such a huge population in places like South Africa that are starting to play these online games, the virtual reality adoption rate is set to make a large jump forward.


Today, gamers use a joy stick and 2D animation to play video games. That is all about to change with VR devices which will allow immersive experiences that simulate being in an imaginary world. For those who don’t like to sit in front of a screen to play games these virtual realities will give added brain-boosting benefits and exercise since the player will be moving around a room while viewing a virtual world.

The potential downside that some naysayers have brought up is the time that young people particularly with spend in a virtual world instead of their physical world. The claim has merits. Many people play online games for hours at a time. This is time that isn’t being spent outside playing real sports or gaining socialization that’s so important. Virtual reality will certainly increase the time spend in a digital world.

Virtual reality has already changed gaming and video content delivery and is opening up conversations and awareness worldwide in the process. What will be next for the immersive technology and what doors will it open?



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