I’ve been spending a fair amount of time with a headset on, in the VR realm as of late. It’s mind-blowing. I’ve been inside of a virtual warehouse party with DJs in different rooms, seen a comedy short, been kidnapped in a terrorist plot, watched some kind of cyber-baby in the womb, and have dropped zombies with a pistol grip pump from a wheelchair right before I got eaten alive. All in virtual reality.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1- The tech is far from perfect
The headsets are sometimes clunky, and that’s before you put on the headphones. The viewing experience can be all over the place and choppy, as it’s aiming at each eye individually, which can make you feel cross-eyed and disoriented. Which leads me to the second thing I learned about VR…
2- It might make your brain hurt
There were times where I felt like my brain was literally frying in my skull. Imagine the radiation leaking from the equivalent of three cellphones strapped to your head. If you’re sensitive, you can actually feel it, and it feels weird. But…
3- When it’s done right, it’s REALLY good
My favorite experience transported me to another world, in a smooth, beautiful and unobtrusive way. Then, when I took the headset off, it took me a full three minutes to adjust back to “real life” because it was so immersive. It doesn’t always nail it, but when it does, it can be outstanding.
4- It will definitely change everything
Storytelling. Music videos. Shopping. Socializing. Film. Communications. Social Activism. EDUCATION. Health & Fitness…You name it, there is probably no sector of life that will go untouched by this technology once it’s made available at consumer level.
5- It won’t mean the end of mankind
Some folks I talk to about VR see a dystopian future, in which we’re all in in headsets at home…vegetables and totally detached from reality. I’m not so sure I see the same thing. As long as there are people (like you and I) out there looking for ways to make sure our technology connects more with humanity and earth, there will be a pull against vegetablism. I think VR will be a tool, nothing more and nothing less. A tool that might help us prepare, create and expand. But then again, I’m speaking from the experience of someone who’s had a few decades of experience in the real world and knows when it’s time to unplug. Maybe the future generations that won’t have those vital reference points, we should be worried about. Until then, I’m looking forward to what the future might hold.
Catch me at Indiecade 2015 this Fall, helping supervise the music programming and at the VR booth!!