Technology has allowed us to do a great many things, especially when it comes to efficiency in production, learning, communication, etc. Also, we have complex AIs that can compete with players in video games or in chess. So, as far as eSports are concerned or sports like chess it’s possible to use technology to get better at those. However, the same cannot be said for football or basketball, as you don’t get better at those sports by playing NBA or FIFA games. In fact, if you play too much you are likely to get worse at the actual thing.
VR technology and VR games are drastically different compared to other forms of video games. You don’t sit and your body is actively engaged with what’s going on. So, we have to ask the question – is it possible to get better at sports through VR? More specifically, can you learn cricket by playing it in a VR environment?
We use simulators to train pilots, train drivers, engineers, etc. These are all complex and demanding professions where learning on the job through trial and error is not an option, which is why simulations are used in order for trainees to get a better sense of what to expect. VR is basically a form of simulation and from that perspective, it makes sense that it can be used to improve skills at a game like cricket.
In other words, if the VR equipment is adequate, it can recreate the experience quite accurately. You actually get to hold the bat and train how to hit the ball that’s coming at you. So, it can indeed provide a useful cricket experience for beginners. However, it does have its limitations.
VR vs Real Training
The current state of VR offers a lot of potential but it is yet to be refined for sports training. From a coding perspective, the ball and the virtual bat all need to have their own hitboxes. So, in spite of the current accuracy, it’s still not going to be like the real thing, mainly because it’s difficult to recreate laws of physics in an authentic way. There are significant advancements in this field but the closer we get the more difficult it is.
Moreover, if all you want to do is practice hitting the ball there is already a machine for that which currently provides a better training experience. The thing that machines lack is AI and unpredictability. Sure you can adjust the angle and the speed, but only through AI can you get a machine that will do those things based on your posture and previous decisions.
To sum up, it’s possible to get some sort of useful cricket experience via VR training, but it’s still limited. Creating a simulation that can be used on a pro-level definitely costs a lot of money and given how players can train with each other, it’s difficult to justify such expenses.