The age of virtual reality is upon us. Now you can put on an interactive headset and immerse yourself in a whole new world that you would never be able to experience otherwise. You can walk through new worlds, play 3D games, and take your gaming to a new level that traditional console gaming simply can’t provide.
Over the past ten years, music games have become a big deal, some of our favorite memories with family and friends are those parties where everybody got together and destroyed the hardest songs and difficulty levels on Rock Band and Guitar Hero.
Now, drumming VR games are the next big thing. While they are still in their infancy, they have massive potential for growth over the course of the next few years. Today, we’re going to taking a look at the future of VR drumming as well as it’s benefits and drawbacks.
VR gaming and entertainment is unlike anything that we’ve ever seen. While they have a long ways to go before they take over the entire gaming industry, they’re well on their way to doing so.
In the old days, video games were just flat 2D screens that you would play when you were bored. Today, they are complex, immersive, and the graphics are almost as real as life. Naturally, when you give people more, they continue to want more. This, in turn, brings us to our modern age of ultra-immersive virtual gaming.
Virtual reality isn’t just used for entertainment. Several large tech and engineering companies have created VR programs that are specifically designed to train new employees and students how to fabricate microchips, fix airplanes, and more. In a virtual environment, there’s very little room for fatal errors and injury.
This means that you can practice your drum playing without waking up the neighbors, having to pay $1,000 for a new drum set, and you can even play while you’re riding your morning subway to work (just make sure not to accidentally hit somebody in the face).
Since drumming VR games are still relatively new, there aren’t a whole lot of studies about how well they actually work when it comes to making you a better drummer. The efficacy of a virtual drumming game has a lot to do with a concept called body ownership illusion.
According to this concept, once the player is able to form a psychological connection with their in-game avatar, then their minds perceive them as part of the body, which then allows the brain to begin “learning” from the game.
Drumming is one of those instruments that require you to have full control of your body. Proponents of VR drumming say that this is where these platforms really shine. They say that VR changes drumming patterns for the better as it allows the body to experiment with new movements and incorporate them into their physical practice.
A lot of the success of a VR drumming game depends on how well the game is designed. Many of these modern VR games are just thrown together with minimal effort designed to keep a 10-year-old entertained for a few minutes during a car ride.
There are a few games out there that are intuitively designed to make players better drummers in real life. We’ll get into these below.
The main problem with drumming VR games today is that they lack the handheld virtual drum set. In past games like Rock Band, you held actual sticks and got a tactile response from the drumming surface. Musical teachers argue that this physical “rebound” effect is very important to learning how to control your drumming technique.
As of today, there aren’t any tactile drumming kits available for VR games, but it’s something that we look forward to seeing in the near future. Once these are implemented, the possibilities for growth are practically limitless.
As we mentioned above, VR drumming games are still in their beginning stages of development, so don’t expect to get something truly spectacular for another few years. However, they’re still a great way to keep your body in shape and practice your general drumming movements when you don’t have access to a physical drum set.
They’re also a lot of fun to do when you’re bored. Who doesn’t love a good air drumming competition?
Here are a few of the VR games that are worth checking out if you’re still interested.
Currently, Tombe Drums is the best drumming game on the market. You can pick it up for $20 on the Steam VR game store.
It was designed by drummers for drummers, and they have done their best to incorporate a realistic drumming experience, sound, and feel into their game. This game also features MIDI and DAW compatibility if you want to record some "live" drums into your next song.
Garage Drummer is still in the development process, but they have a beta version available on Steam and encourage users to give feedback. While the drumming experience isn’t quite to the level of Tombe yet, they do have some very impressive graphics which aid in the immersion process.
If you’re looking for something a bit less realistic and more colorful, then Drums Hero is a nice alternative. It has a Guitar Hero type of feel, and allows you to hit notes as they fly at you on a screen. Don’t let the fun distract you, though. This game can be incredibly challenging.
If you’re looking for a new way to occupy your free time, and want to be able to practice your drumming skills when you’re away from your physical set, then VR drumming games can be a great way to accomplish this.
They are relatively inexpensive, and can provide a lot of fun no matter what your skill level is.