VR is still a relatively new space, especially powerful VR driven by a powerful system, like the HTC Vive. The technology, while quite amazing to behold, is still in its infancy and not without its share of issues. One of these issues is that it’s difficult to use for long stretches. Naturally, as with any new area of human achievement, a world record was quick to be set. Despite most users experiencing many things to complain about with the first couple hours of use, namely severe nausea, Derek Westerman took the plunge and decided he would use the HTC Vive for 25 straight hours. He was chasing down the Guinness World Record for the longest video game marathon on a virtual reality system.
As part of the conditions for the record, Guinness stipulated that, like any other gaming marathon record, the participant had to play the same game for the entire duration. Rather than going with more traditional fare or an actual game designed for VR, Westerman chose the virtual interactive art experience, Tilt Brush. Using VR, Tilt Brush puts a user inside their own freely painted art. It’s not hard to imagine how it went. Westerman was fed and hydrated, urinated into a bucket at one point and later vomited into that very same bucket. The vomiting, it should be noted, came at about the 17th hour, indicating some very impressive tolerance for a system that usually induces such phenomena before even the 10-hour mark for most users.
At about 21 hours in, Westerman had lost sense of where he was and was speaking gibberish, but still held fast to the Vive controllers and kept on trucking, creating strange and unique digital art in Tilt Brush throughout the final leg of his valiant struggle. When the moment came at long last to remove the headset, a visibly shaken Westerman emerged, looking haggard. The Guinness Book of World Records, as well as the website, now reflect that a one Derek Westerman of Los Angeles, California holds the record for the longest video game marathon on a virtual reality game system at exactly 25 hours and 2 minutes, set on April 7, 2016.