The Oculus Rift Experiance
Posted: Jun 15 2014
I remember back in the day, when Nintendo reigned supreme in the video game industry, you could to your local Blockbuster Video and try out new games. I even have a vague memory of participating in a Donkey Kong Country tournament once. However, there's one Blockbuster memory that sticks out the most – The first time I tried Nintendo's Virtual Boy. It wasn't very impressive. I remember controlling the red lined Mario characters while they played tennis. Of course the hype for this died down fairly quickly because well, it was, for lack of a better word, lame. One year and 14 games after it's release the Virtual Boy was discontinued.
The world would not attempt another virtual headset until almost 20 years later. Enter Oculus Rift. The idea and design is similar to the Virtual Boy but the impression it will leave on you is slightly more traumatic.
I had the chance to try out Oculus Rift at Pax East this year. The wait to give it a try was over two hours long. Only a two hour wait to alter your perception of reality forever. Luckily, one of the girls I use to do gaming promotions with was working on this, so she slipped us right in. I guess the PlayStation Vita promo I had worked on with her was not completely in vain after all.
She sat me down and slipped the gear over my eyes and placed a controller in my hand. My friend, Jtari, was getting the same treatment from an attractive young man.
All of a sudden I was in someone's living room. I looked down at my legs to find they had been replaced with skinny man legs and my hands where now those of a Caucasian man. I looked to my left to find a middle aged man watching me from a couch. He had a striking resemblance to Bruce Willace. In front of me, in the distance sat another man in a chair.
Before I could get a grip of my virtual surrondings, a cartoon like avatar appeared in front of me. It had similar design to the Zelda's Wind Waker characters. I was given instructions on how to make the avatar move by using a combination of motion and button mashing with the controller. Once I was deemed ready another avatar appeared and I was told to battle. My opponent was being controlled by the man in front of me. The man in front of me was being controlled by a real person in a chair across from me, IRL.
Once we were done the gear was taken off of and I watched Jtari finish her game. The good looking guy took off Jtari's headset. She sat there with a blank stare and he asked if she was okay. She slowly looked up at him and said “I think so.”
“Was it fun?” He replied. His tone was questioning, like he knew he just changed out lives forever.
“I don't know.” Jtari had summed up the experience in 3 words. I don't know.
The experience left me shaken up. Everything felt different after wards. I even ended up calling out of work for a few days due to the experience... or I may of just felt like crap because of the excessive drinking at the convention. I began to question reality, I recently had been reading up on the theory that our universe is actually a computer simulation. The theory goes that if humans reach the point where they can create simulations then we either have to be the first to create the technology for it, or we are in fact in a simulation, which was a spawn of a simulation before them, which was a created by a simulation before them. So we may be in fact in a simulation of a simulation of a simulation of a simulation.. ∞
All together I would say my Oculus Drift experience was pretty terrifying. However, if they ever come out for a Pokemon game for it I am never taking that thing off my head.