There is nary a time like Christmas which tends to bring families and friends together, as sharing memories, meals, and gifts has become a tradition for many who celebrate the holiday. While the tradition of the holiday generally stays the same for most people, one thing that does consistently change is the advancement of technology and this year has brought forth some of the most exciting technology in recent years - VR. Yes, virtual reality is starting to come into full swing with four major devices having been released this year, with the latest of those four being Google's Daydream View headset. Since Christmas is about the spirit of giving, and sharing, as it were, VR should be no different, and there are a number of ways you can enjoy Christmas in VR, as well as share those experiences with others.
Looking For Something To Watch?
If you, like many others, enjoy the tradition of everything that comes along with Christmas including watching things that follow the theme of the holiday, then the recently released Netflix VR for Daydream is something that should lift your holiday spirits. With what seems like near endless options for Christmas movies and TV shows, such as a Christmas Story (which tends to be a yearly staple for some), as well as the ever popular and expanding set of options for virtual fireplaces, Netflix is a treasure trove of Christmas content. It's highly unlikely you'd want to sit back and watch a lengthy set of "Fireplace 4K: Crackling Birchwood," but who is to say it won't be enjoyable for a few minutes, and this is one of those things that would be a cool thing to share with others.
Immerse Yourself In The Spirit
If you're not keen on watching anything Christmas-themed without others being able to enjoy it too, then a good VR experience app based on the most festive holiday of the year might be something to enjoy instead. Christmas Eve VR Cardboard is an app which has a handful of fun things to do during Christmas, and these are things which tend to be a part of the regular routine each year for many people, kids included. With this app you can decorate a virtual Christmas tree and even put out milk and cookies for Santa, which might be a fun little activity for the children. The app also features Christmas songs to listen to and there's even a camera functionality that lets you save photos of the experience to your phone's gallery, which you could then use as a wallpaper if you really wanted to make things festive. To use this app you'll need a Cardboard compatible viewer.
Toss A Few Snowballs
Christmas is usually associated with winter time, as it is the season, and in winter there is generally snow depending on your location. If there's snow, there's nothing quite like tossing a few snowballs, and Google's Santa Tracker app has a Cardboard compatible game that allows you to do just that in virtual reality. Since it's inside of the Santa Tracker app as a mini-game of sorts, you can keep track of Santa and check out the app's other features before tossing the phone into your Cardboard viewer and tossing as many snowballs as you'd like. It's not quite the same as the real thing, but then again it's also nowhere near as cold which is always a huge plus, especially if you prefer the warmth of a nice cozy fire.
Hit The Slopes
While some people tend to stay home and gather around the tree in the comfort of their own surroundings, others like to head off to the mountains and enjoy a good adventure. Now with the magic of VR you can do just that but without having to leave home, and anyone else that's around can enjoy the same experience. If you have an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift and a computer that can power it, Fancy Skiing VR is a game/experience worth trying out should you actually enjoy the idea of skiing down the mountain. Since this for the HTC Vive it's also got some pretty decent visuals. What's more is that if you have the controllers or paddles that go with either headset, you can play the game in a standing position and use the controllers/paddles as your ski poles, while leaning ever so slightly to each side as you sway down the mountain. You can pick this up on Steam, and right now it's 20% off.
Let Santa Know How You Really Feel
While most can agree that Santa and the spirit of his jolly, ho-ho-ho-ing personality is anything but unpleasant, it would be unfair to say that everyone loves him. Surely, somewhere, someone could do without the large bellied man with a big white beard and a fuzzy red hat. If you or someone you know who you'll be seeing over the holidays can be considered as part of this camp, then a VR game on Steam called I Hate Santa might just be right up your alley. The game is compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the OSVR so you have a few options here for the machine with which to play it, and as far as gameplay goes, it's essentially a snowball fight. One can only assume that you, as the player in-game, take on the role of a person who has the holiday spirit of Ebeneezer Scrooge, fending off hordes of kids playing in the winter weather who keep trying to pelt you with snowballs. If that sounds like fun, toss in the fact that it's only $2.99 and it's likely to keep people entertained.