There is an old fable about the blind man who gave a piggyback ride to the lame man and, together, they walked around town.
That’s the background.
The foreground is that one of my coworkers recently purchased a Samsung Odyssey VR headset. It arrived and he found that it didn’t work with his CPU. He told me about the Windows Mixed Reality PC check (which is free!) and, as it turned out, my PC could handle it. So I brought my PC over to his house and we hooked up his VR system. (My bud points out that if you get this, you’ll also need this extension cable and a couple of these adapters).
Well, the first thing we did was pull up the Microsoft application and we were inside of a beautiful house on a beautiful cliff. My bud told me to (virtually) walk up to the edge of the cliff and look over. It looked like looking over a cliff. My feet made little fists. “Now step over the edge!”, he said cheerfully.
I told him “you know what? I’m not going to do that.”
It was freaky. I knew, in my heart, that I was standing in his living room. But I looked over the edge of that cliff and it looked real. I heard (but didn’t feel) the breeze. I very, very much did *NOT* want to take a single step forward.
We didn’t even get to a *GAME*, yet. I was doing the demo. The demo put together by *MICROSOFT*. And it had me freaking out like I was being foolhardy and taking my own life into my hands.
So then we started playing games. Valve’s game, “The Lab” (also Free!), was a surreal and delightful. It had some not-even-games where you’d stand in a square in Venice or on a hill in Iceland. There were a couple of games in which you were fooling around in Aperture Science labs. There was a game where you picked up a ship much like Galaga and, then, you were holding your ship in a 3D space and your controller is whichever hand you’re holding it in… and it’s pointing in whatever direction you’re pointing in… and you have to dodge the other ships’ projectiles with your hand.
We were boggling at the graphics, at the immersion, and at the weirdness of when we took the goggles off and found ourselves back in just plain old R.
If you have a chance to play with some of these goggles, do so. Before that game night, I was pretty sure that VR was little more than a gimmick. Now I’m pretty sure that it is the harbinger of the death of civilization as we know it.
Dude. You *TOTALLY* need to do this.
So… what are you playing?
(Picture is HG Wells playing a war game from Illustrated London News (25 January 1913[/efn_note]