More VR gamers smashing up their homes accidentally, says insurer


  • VR
  • Monday, 14 Feb 2022

Super smash bros: gamers getting too into their VR gaming experiences are causing more damage around the home, insurance data finds. — AFP

As more gamers try playing in virtual reality (VR), more are getting into accidents around the home, according to insurance data.

The Guardian reported a 31% increase in home content insurance claims involving VR headsets in 2021, quoting data from insurance company Aviva.

Aviva UK property claims director Kelly Whittington said this is a recurring trend whenever new games or gadgets gain popularity.

“In the past we’ve seen similar trends involving consoles with handsets, fitness games and even the likes of rogue fidget spinners,” she said.

“These devices can be a great source of fun, but we’d encourage people to be mindful of their surroundings and take a look at their home insurance to make sure it suits their needs,” she added.

The insurer’s data found that the average VR-related accidental damage claim in 2021 was for about £650 (RM3,690), often for TVs damaged during gaming sessions.

Some of the more strange reasons given for claims ranged from a claimant throwing his controller at the TV after getting a jump scare from an in-game zombie, to a child who smashed two designer figurines placed on the mantelpiece when he acted out the game’s instruction to make a “swipe” movement.

These claims were accepted and settled, an Aviva spokesperson confirmed to the Guardian.

The insurance company expected more of such claims to come in soon, as many UK folk were gifted VR headsets for Christmas last year.

The Guardian highlighted that these incidents had become so commonplace that a subreddit forum r/VRtoER had come up, where members shared videos of people smashing household objects and other people or injuring themselves while playing on VR headsets.

As of press time, the subreddit had 81,500 members.

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