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There’s a new way to play the game of pickleball right in your own living room

The first VR pickleball experience aims to broaden the booming sport's appeal

The game of pickleball received a major digital addition to its booming popularity this December: The Playin Pickleball virtual reality game. Designed for playing pickleball virtually via the Meta Quest 2 VR goggles, the first official launch for Playin Games claims to be the most authentic reproduction of pickleball in virtual reality. (As to motion sickness, it’s best not to play while not moving. For explanation of gameplay, stick to written instructions and pickleball videos.)

Playin' Pickleball's YouTube page.
Playin’ Pickleball/YouTube Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to a December 12 press release, Playin Games mapped out the physics from real-life gameplay and applied it to the virtual world to establish a truly transcendent digital experience perfect for players avoiding sub-zero temps outside or just enjoying the convenience of playing indoors. Not only is gameplay mapped out from actual pickleball movement, but also, the scoring, rules, and regulations all align to the USA Pickleball Association’s Official Rulebook (even to weird pickleball regulations)

Playin Games designed Playin Pickleball not only to be accessible to any and all pickleball players, but also to help people level up, whether their skill level is beginner, intermediate, or advanced. Gameplay varies from introductory tutorials to skills competitions. Playin Pickleball players can line up across from unique AI bots that offer different degrees of difficulty in addition to connecting to other gamers anywhere in the world — be it buddies down the street or new rivals across the planet.

Getting used to the VR world can be a bit disorienting (as can the weird, half-bodied digital players), but gameplay is pretty simple to understand and adjust to.

As the world’s first commercial VR pickleball app developer, Playin Games is aiming to uplift static video game play with sweaty action.

“Playin Games’ core mission is to use technologies like VR to help people stay active,” Raghu Bathina, Playin Games founder and CEO, says in the release. “We are strong believers in the positive impact of exercise on mental and physical health.”

Not only can Playin Pickleball help ease newbies into the sport and enhance expert games, but the VR experience also can encourage more people to play the country’s fastest-growing sport, such as gamers, persons with restricted mobility, those not comfortable with their athletic prowess, etc. According to the press release, early VR adopters are on board with the action.

Playin Pickleball is great for real-life players like me, but also easy for newcomers to join the fun,” pickleball enthusiast and VR gamer Steven said. “I’ve tried every conceivable racquet sports app that even remotely simulates pickleball. This is what we’ve all been waiting for!”

Instead of continuing the holiday couch lock, Playin Pickleball gives players an option to get up and get active without leaving the comfort of home. Just try not to break the surrounding lamps, vases, and other interior decorations while you’re diving, dipping, and slamming virtual pickleballs.

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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