Jewish World Review April 1, 2014 / 1 Nissan, 5774
Does Facebook acquisition doom real reality?
By Rex Huppke
Future history books will note that
It was the day
The "VR" in the company's name stands for "virtual reality." Oculus has been busy working on a gaming device called the Oculus Rift headset, which, according to a blog post by
Let's pause a moment to acknowledge that in any post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie worth its salt, something called "the Oculus Rift headset" would be the reason for the apocalypse or, at the very least, its pre-apocalypse creation would mark the moment things took a serious turn for the worse.
Back to Mr. Zuckerberg: "The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives."
I'd like to believe that's because the people who would willingly don an Oculus Rift headset have lives that haven't extended far beyond their parents' living rooms, but I doubt that's the case. Rather, I think the virtual world inside this odd headgear holds some alluring advantages over actual reality, and that's how
After detailing the device's gaming capabilities, Zuckerberg wrote: "But this is just the start." (Cue maniacal laughter and jarring thunderclaps.)
"After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home. ... Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures."
The problem with imagining all those things in real life has always been that achieving them requires getting up and exerting energy. You have to interact with actual humans -- and we all know how insufferable they can be -- and endure the inconveniences of travel, goal setting and goal realization.
Who has time for that these days?
While I do find this all mildly terrifying -- will we all wind up Oculus-ized out of existence? -- I can certainly see the advantages of being not just "on
First, I'm going to stop at the weapons shop (I assume there will be a weapons shop; this was created by gamers, after all) and buy a big Thor-like hammer to carry around. Then I'm going to stomp off to my friends'
After that, I'll find all the people who were popular in high school, virtually approach them and laugh in their cyberfaces because they're now bald or overweight or divorced or otherwise worse off than me. I'll also swing around my big food-whackin' hammer, just to show off a little. Suckers.
I'll track down every so-called friend who ever pestered me with a
Finally, I'll take off my Oculus Facebook Helmet, look around the living room and see that my real-life kids are yelling at each other and my real-life wife is asking me to clean up the real-life dog puke on the carpet.
Then I'll suddenly remember I forgot to feed my killer robot dog.
Helmet on -- problems solved.
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Rex Huppke is a columnist for The Chicago Tribune. Comment by clicking here.
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=<< © 2013, The Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
© 2013, The Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.