Guinness Record Set With 25 Continuous Hours in Virtual Reality


Guinness World Records, an organisation journalling the extraordinary (and often insane) stunts people will pull for notoriety, and now the book has its first virtual reality entry. Watch as Derek Westerman swaps reality for Tilt Brush inside the HTC Vive and stays there for 25 hours straight.

It’s a desire most of us hold, to do something extraordinary in life. For the most part however, we’re generally content to achieve this by parenting children, going bungee jumping or backpacking around Europe. But there are a select few for whom only documented proof of their unique abilities and/or achievements is enough – they’re the record breakers, as documented since 1955 by Guinness World Records.

Derek Westerman from Super Deluxe, a YouTube collective dedicated to making “Funny and smart videos from funny and smart weirdos who are probably a lot like you”, now joins that somewhat elite (and sometimes dubious) collective. As of April 7th, he holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous virtual reality session, and he did it all whilst immersed ‘in’ a single application over a 25 hour period.

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But why? Westerman elucidates for us. “While many people, especially gamers, have spent a lot of time in Virtual Reality, it seemed important to set an official Guinness record with our current “excited-about-VR” climate, so we essentially had an official bench mark to beat.”

See Also: HTC Vive Review: A Mesmerising VR Experience, if You Have the Space
See Also: HTC Vive Review: A Mesmerising VR Experience, if You Have the Space

Virtual reality has been around a while, but only available in consumer form for a matter of weeks. Therefore this ‘new’ technology is undergoing its largest field test ever, as more and more people receive headsets. No one really knows just what the use of VR over extended periods does to a person, simply because headsets have never been numerous or accessible enough to gain a large enough sample size. That Derek Westerman tried and succeeded in his bid – to spend a continuous 25 hours in virtual reality, without removing his HTC Vive headset – and without going ‘bat shit insane’, is encouraging. “As time goes on, more and more people will be spending a lot more time in Virtual Reality — essentially living in it. And I wanted to be a part of the start of that process,” says Westerman.

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And whilst some of you out there may positively relish the thought of that kind of time to indulge in your hobby, consider one thing; Derek was only allowed to use a single application for the entire 25 hour stint, Tilt Brush. As incredible as the VR painting app is, he was still stuck for over a day in its grey void with only his digital, virtual creations for company. “Guinness has a whole set of rules and regulations, one of those being ‘one game only the whole time’. I wanted to pick something that gave me the most freedom,” Westerman says, “And painting in 3D space for 25 hours seemed like the best bet.”

Interestingly, Westerman realised that the key to ensuring time didn’t drag horrendously was to engage his creativity, with that in mind, Tilt Brush may well have been a very smart choice after all. That said, judging by Derek’s artistic output towards the end of the mammoth VR stint, I’m  concerned as to which reality he may now have accepted as permanent. “There is a definitely a difference between my life before and after spending days in Virtual Reality.  I was marked by it. And now, in an exciting way, everything feels slightly superficial or unreal.”

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Based in the UK, Paul has been immersed in interactive entertainment for the best part of 27 years and has followed advances in gaming with a passionate fervour. His obsession with graphical fidelity over the years has had him branded a ‘graphics whore’ (which he views as the highest compliment) more than once and he holds a particular candle for the dream of the ultimate immersive gaming experience. Having followed and been disappointed by the original VR explosion of the 90s, he then founded to follow the new and exciting prospect of the rebirth of VR in products like the Oculus Rift. Paul joined forces with Ben to help build the new Road to VR in preparation for what he sees as VR’s coming of age over the next few years.
  • A VR expert whose longest stint in VR is 30 minutes? Seems suspect.

  • Steve Biegun

    “As good as the virtual reality pain application is” – Funny typo

  • Christian Steiner

    i don’t get it. there was already a German who has demonstrably spent 48h in VR. See the Links:

    • Batuhan Yıldız

      You have to apply to guinness to have the record.They don’t just give it to you when they see you

    • VR Sverige

      Indeed! 25h seems weak when that german did 48 hours livestreamed in VR.

  • Simon

    pointless doing the same thing for that long – waste of time and should not be a record for anything

    • Rob B

      As opposed to 99% of Guinness World Record categories? ;)

  • Graham J ⭐️

    Well I guess we now know who this guy was:

  • Stephen Marshall

    This has to be one of the easiest guiness records to break

    • SilentBoy741

      Absolutely. My first session was 6.5 hours, and I only quit because it was 1:30 a.m. and I had to go to work in a few hours. I’m surprised that record has stood this long.

  • visual

    For a minute I thought this was a The Onion article…

  • ivan bartha

    Weak…You sir deserve to die and I hope you burn in hell.

  • Adam Bruce

    I am a little surprised at this article. Cris Miranda of @EnterVR is presently on hour 44 of a 100hour marathon in VR streaming now

    • Mike McRoberts

      Except this guy is currently fast asleep meaning he is not in VR for 100 hours at all.

  • Adsinjapan

    Well that was disappointing. If you’re going to do this, do it right. No external moral support and no back massages from interns.
    Hear me out. With external stimuli, you’re not IN the VR world. You’re getting a disconnect from VR each time someone interacts with you from the outside.

    And lets face it, Tiltbrush is VR MS Paint. MS Paint for 25 hours will make anyone throw up.

    • Andy

      There still needs to be some motion controllers and/or gloves for this thing.

    • ummm…

      doesn’t diminish the “triumph” of this moment.

  • Watch this video about 48 hours in VR. Seems like Guiness doesn’t care if what they print is legit.

  • Anon “SaviorNT” Field

    wth? This goes to show that money and a job at a large firm gets the most attention. Considering I spent 2 days (48 hours) playing Elite Dangerous using the DK2…

    • ummm…


  • Thor Brigsted

    So what, this one doesn’t count?

    • Michael Gossett

      As the article stated, Guinness requires the same game to be played. That 48 hours was in multiple games.

  • Trooper Gooner

    I’d have to drop an acid tab to get me through that long in VR.