Behind the Stream with SaberMomVR
One of the most interesting things I like to talk about with other gamers is what got them into gaming. Generally, it is a fond childhood memory, a vague time period only ear marked by the gateway game but commonly featuring a bonding experience with a parent or older sibling. Sometimes it musters up those summer vacation nights that never felt like they would end, endless pizza parties, sleepovers and Goldeneye multiplayer. Much more rare is it, when an avid gamer discovers a love for the hobby in adulthood. But a exception to this rule is the lovely, SaberMomVR, who not only took a chance on VR gaming but fell madly in love with it. Thanks to the wonderful, SaberMomVR for taking the time and sharing her story!
Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, lived here my whole life. However, my grandparents came here from The Netherlands, so I am 50% Dutch! (I know you are a big fan of the Dutch.)
I am known as SaberMomVR on all the platforms.
What do you use for your VR sessions?
I game on the Meta Quest 2. I will occasionally play unplugged but I spend most of my time playing plugged into my PC and on Steam. Games that offer mixed reality are my favorite so I have a green screen setup as well.
When did your VR journey begin?
My family received our first Quest 2 as a Christmas gift in 2020. At the time I was not at all a gamer, nor did I know anything about VR. I saw some game called Beat Saber and noticed that there was a BTS music pack, and I just HAD to try it out, only for the BTS music. (I may have become slightly obsessed with them during that long summer of sitting around the house.) I played one song and was instantly hooked! I’ve always had a love for music so a game that had me swinging lightsabers to really fun songs was a perfect fit. I picked it up pretty quickly, which made me feel confident and excited. I had finally found a video game that I didn’t suck at! From that day on I’ve been completely obsessed with VR.
Do you have a type of genre of game you prefer to play?
Most definitely rhythm games! Beat Saber is probably still my favorite, but I’ve also recently started to really enjoy Synth Riders, Pistol Whip, Audio Trip, BoomboxVR, OhShape and Ragnarock. Anything that gets me moving! One of the reasons I got hooked on VR was the fact that I finally got off my butt and started moving my body, and it felt SO GOOD! I was exercising without feeling like I was exercising. I ended up losing about 10-15 pounds in a few months, but more importantly than a number on the scale, I discovered that I just felt better. I started to have a lot more energy throughout the day. I felt stronger. I gained a little muscle in my arms from swinging virtual sabers. And probably the biggest benefit was that my mood improved. Grinding through a really difficult song for a new high score can be fun sometimes, but most of the time I don’t really play for score, I play for fun and exercise. I almost always turn off the HUD and just enjoy the music and rhythm, and dance! Doing that has done wonders for me physically, mentally and emotionally.
However, I have recently started to enjoy trying out some non-rhythm games as well. One of my absolute favorites right now is Walkabout Mini Golf. It’s so much fun to get a group of friends together and spend a couple hours just golfing, chatting and laughing a lot. And when I really need some VR down time I enjoy calming games like Vermillion, which lets you sit in a quiet studio and create virtual oil paintings. You can even follow along with video tutorials from Bob Ross! I just love anything that lets me be creative.
What type of game do you like to play when not doing virtual reality?
There are video games outside of virtual reality? Lol, I’m not really much of a gamer outside of VR. I kind of suck at PC and console games. So basically, if I have to choose a game outside of VR, it would be Animal Crossing New Horizons. (Another thing I was addicted to during the long summer of 2020.)
Why did you decide to start creating VR content?
Honestly, I think I just started searching up videos of Beat Saber songs when I first started playing and thought, “Huh, I could do that.” I just loved Beat Saber so much and I wanted to share it with the world! So I started some Instagram and YouTube accounts, thinking I would just post a few 1st-person song clips here and there, and a few months later I had a green screen set up and was doing full, edited, mixed-reality videos.
Now I continue to create VR content because as I said, I want to share the joy of VR with everyone, but also because I really, really enjoy the creative process of making my videos. I mostly just do it for me, honestly. I hear a song or play a fun new game and my brain goes crazy with ideas for editing, effects and sometimes even cosplay. Then I set to work and have a blast creating, and at the end of it all, if I make just a few people smile with my super nerdiness, then I am happy.
Do you have a schedule?
I don’t stream live anywhere… yet. I have thought about it many times but just haven’t ever sat down to figure it all out. It makes me a little nervous. But I would love to give it a try, so hopefully soon!
I do post videos on YouTube and Instagram pretty regularly, but I try not to set a strict schedule for myself. If I just create the videos I want to create, when I want to create them, I enjoy it a lot more and have more motivation to do it.
What was the first game you ever played in VR?
Beat Saber. And then more Beat Saber. I played that game pretty much exclusively for several months. I had tried a few other games once or twice, but Beat Saber just had my whole heart for a very long time. It has only been in the last few months that I have started to branch out and try other games. And I’m really loving it! There are so many amazing VR games out there!
Do you have other VR partners?
No, I mostly just work solo. My husband helps me out a lot behind the scenes and is my biggest supporter, but he doesn’t like to be in front of the camera. I do love to do occasional collaborations with other players, though! And I’ve really enjoyed building some partnerships recently with some amazing VR accessory brands.
What is the most outlandish thing that has happened to you while playing or while you were watching someone stream?
Well, I dressed up in a meat dress for a Lady Gaga video once. But that didn’t really “happen to me”, I did it to myself, lol.
What do you want to see in the VR community moving forward?
I really just want to see more people getting involved in VR! I want everyone to experience all of the amazing benefits of VR gaming. Also, I’ve really enjoyed discovering some fun, family-friendly multiplayer games recently, like Walkabout, and I hope to discover more of those!
What makes the experience unique?
I think just the fact that you can actually be IN the game. Instead of sitting in front of a PC or console, clicking a few buttons and watching a character on the screen, you physically ARE the character! You are up and moving, usually using your entire body to play. The environment is all around you and sometimes you feel like you are really there. There have been many times that I have tried to lean on a virtual railing and missed, or stood on the edge of a cliff and sunk to my knees to crawl away safely, lol. That feeling is something that you just can’t get in any other type of gaming experience.
What would you tell a brand new player or wish that someone told you when you were first starting out?
First of all, be careful, it’s addicting! xD Second, invest in some comfortable accessories. There are so many great VR products out there. If something doesn’t feel comfortable on your head or your face, there is a solution. Don’t give up playing for this reason. Third, don’t give up on all VR if a specific game makes you motion sick. There are many games that I can’t play because of the movement style, but there are also many others that I assumed I wouldn’t be able to do, that turned out to be totally fine. But I guarantee that everyone can find games that they are not only comfortable playing, but really love and enjoy!
What is rewarding about virtual reality?
Besides the physical and emotional benefits I mentioned earlier, one of the most rewarding things about virtual reality is the friendships you can build. The VR community is so amazing! For the most part, everyone is very kind and supportive of one another. I have met so many incredible people from all over the world. On what other platform can you be standing in your living room, look around and see a friend from another country standing next to you while you play and chat? Yes, they are in avatar form, but you can see them moving and reacting in the same way that they are actually moving and reacting in real life. It’s really just a lot of fun.
Parting words/ shout outs?
VR is incredible and I think everyone should give it a try at least once, even if you are not a gamer. I am a 40-year-old mom who had never been a gamer before, and now here I am, healthier, happier, more confident and outgoing than I’ve ever been, and just having the time of my life. I have found new ways of being creative, learned new skills with computers and technology that I never thought I would be interested in, and built many friendships. VR has changed my life for the better and it just might change yours as well!
Shout out to my favorite brand partners, HelloReal and Reloptix! Check out their amazing accessories and prescription VR lenses!
Also, shout out to Buffaloretro for having such a cool idea and for inviting me to do this interview, and letting me ramble on for an eternity about my obsession. I’ll shut up now. Go play some VR!