Bionic vision is a rapidly advancing field aimed at developing visual neuroprostheses (‘bionic eyes’) to restore useful vision to people who are blind. However, a major outstanding challenge is predicting what people ‘see’ when they use their devices. The limited field of view of current devices necessitates head movements to scan the scene, which is difficult to simulate on a computer screen. In addition, many computational models of bionic vision lack biological realism. To address these challenges, we propose to embed biologically realistic models of simulated prosthetic vision (SPV) in immersive virtual reality (VR) so that sighted subjects can act as ‘virtual patients’ in real-world tasks.