Researchers created an experiment in which several participants were asked to play a maze game they created. All participants had to randomly play the game both in the conventional format as well as in VR, with both versions of the game being the same.
All of them were asked to estimate when five minutes had passed and then to stop playing the game. No clocks of any kind were available to them.
The results revealed that the VR players of the game played for more than a minute longer (an average of 72.6 seconds) than participants who played the conventional version of the game.
One explanation for why this happens could be the fact that in VR, people have less body awareness. According to some scientific theories, our brain is helped in keeping track of time by some bodily rhythms such our heartbeat. But when in VR, you don’t really have a vivid sense of your body and you might miss the pulses of the timekeeping mechanism, explains psychology professor Nicolas Davidenko, coauthor of the study.
The next job of scientists is to figure out how to make the best of the time compression effect, to minimize its potential harm but harvest its benefits