As much as we love virtual reality here at KitGuru, we're not sure we're willing to risk getting herpes to play with it. Although just a rumour for now, a redacted conversation between game developers was posted online by a Youtuber, that suggests it is possible to contract the virus from VR headset use.
One of the best parts of virtual reality is how exciting and exhilerating it can be, but that can lead to sweat build up. It's why washable covers have been available for a while now and even waterproof, wipeable ones. All developers showing off VR games and experiences at shows are expected to keep the headset clean like that, and it may be with good reason too.
EYE HERPES IS SPREADING VIA VR HEADSETS! You know those big events where people try VR for the first time? Well this dev got herpes from it! pic.twitter.com/ngNQK5QiFB
— Drift0r (@Drift0r) October 25, 2016
Although we need to take this posted conversation with a big pinch of salt considering its source and lack of evidence, it is something that needs to be considered. Having a lot of people strap a device to their faces which while possibly sweating and breathing hard, has the potential to spread bacteria or viruses.
We'll be keeping an eye on this story to see if any more evidence or sources emerge, but it's worth taking on board as a cautionary tale. If you are using a VR headset at trade shows, make sure the developers demoing it clean it thoroughly between uses.
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KitGuru Says: For those concerned, ocular herpes symptoms and more information can be found here. Make sure you guys get to a doctor if you're concerned, as ocular herpes can have permanent effects.