This is the kind of thing I’d like to see more of.

Increasingly, I’m finding VR’s applications slightly outside the realm of traditional gaming to be the most exciting. For every tame take on Star Wars or Resident Evil demo that nauseates more than it terrifies, there are social tools that let you stay connected in long-distance relationships, virtual museums, and of course, porn. It makes me especially happy, though, to see developers applying VR to games in atypical ways.

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Case in point: the new DOTA 2 VR hub, which Valve released in advance of their $18 million (and counting) International tournament, which kicks off next week. It lets you spectate matches in a variety of different ways.

“Put on a headset and join your friends and other Dota fans to watch live matches or replays in Dota VR Theater, where you can stand surrounded by heroes and watch the action unfold on an enormous screen,” wrote Valve. “Immerse yourself further by jumping through the minimap into the game itself. Watch from a bird’s-eye view or plant your feet on the ground to watch the battles rage around you at full scale.”

Here’s a video of the system in action, courtesy of Brad Lynch:

So yeah, you have options, whether you want to see the action near or far—wherever you are, really. Personally, I can’t wait to watch matches surrounded by my favorite heroes. It’ll be so fun to pretend I have friends.

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