The Circle: Lending A Helping Hand To Older Adults Via Virtual Reality

by Harold Goldberg

It had to be done. The New York Videogame Critics Circle has moved toward helping the New York City community – in more than a few ways.

This week on a monsoon-like morning, Tom’s Guide’s Sherri Smith and I traveled to the Senior Planet Exploration Center in Chelsea to mentor older adults. The Circle’s Jonathan Lee and I did this last month at the Center with Tracey Fullerton’s Walden.

And this month, we brought PSVR and Samsung Gear VR.

Senior Planet members were absolutely thrilled to travel to new and adventurous locales via technology. This gentleman in particular checked out VR for the better part of two hours. He was very engaged throughout.

OATSVR

And this wonderful woman really felt the 3D, in your face nature of PlayStation VR.

OATSVR1

All told, we mentored about 20 people that day. And they did not want us to leave. Elizabeth Pooran, our terrific Senior Planet contact, wrote this in an email: “Thank you again for coming today! The members are still raving about it! Even some spectators were inquiring about it afterwards!”

Honestly, it was our pleasure. As reporters and critics and writers, we can occasionally take our jobs for granted. We can become cynical.

But sharing our knowledge is something we do with happiness that borders on joy.

That, in essence, is what the New York Videogame Critics Circle is all about.

You can find out more about our work (and have fun playing games) at our Summer Community Event on July 28 at the Abrons Arts Center Block Party between 5 and 8 p.m.

Harold Goldberg is the Founder of the New York Videogame Critics Circle. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair and other publications.

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