Virtual reality is intense. When being immersed in a game or experience, it is not uncommon for users to sweat a bit after long play sessions. For this reason, many companies such as VRCover have developed washable and replaceable inserts to make the experience a little nicer for everyone who comes in contact with your Vive or Rift. As it turns out, keeping these headsets clean is quite a bit more important than we had previously thought, as some developers have reported cases of eye herpes being spread around from their VR headsets.
As captured by popular YouTuber Driftor, on his Twitter page, there’s an ongoing conversation about the spread of eye herpes via VR headsets. In the conversation (which can be found through Twitter, but be warned there is strong language) the devs mention “simplex virus”, which causes inflammation and discomfort on the skin. If you’ve ever had a cold sore before, imagine this, but on your eyes. Yeah I know, I don’t want to either.
Most of Driftor’s followers were absolutely terrified at the prospect of getting this virus, and many expressed the need to wipe down headsets after each use. If anything, it’s good that cleanliness is being stressed while using these devices, as simplex virus is quite tame when considering other virus’s one could potentially catch from this kind of contact.
While the developers are obviously not saying the herpes are spreading around the community, and it is very likely that it is limited to their internal VR headsets, this could potentially happen to anyone. We recently attended Oculus Connect 3, and while the employees were careful to clean off the headsets between each use, there were hundreds of people using a single headset throughout the event, which could have ended badly for everyone had the company not been careful.
Have you bought any additional face pads to keep your headset clean? There are quite a few out there, and they can help to add comfort to the device as well as keeping it sanitary.