For some time now I have been keeping myself abreast of the Oculus Rift project – a brand new virtual reality kit which is due for release this year.
Normally I wouldn’t be interested in things like this but I believe this new VR headset will change the face of not only gaming but many aspects of our lives, and not always for the better.
Back in the 90’s I had a go with a VR headset in London and it really put me off the idea. The terrible low resolution, the neck ache, the lag… It was really crap. From that point on virtual reality got forgotten about for another twenty years or so while the technology caught up with the concept.
Oculus aims, and supposedly delivers an experience which can effectively trick (part of) your brain into feeling the experience is very real. In a nutshell, virtual reality is here and this time it’s not going away.
So many people see this as just another gaming platform. That’s cool, but I believe it will be used for many other applications such as virtual meetings, and even eventually working.. Imagine working on a desk on a beach with palm trees?
It’s not all good news though. In this internet based age people spend less and less time going outside and talking to each other. VR could well be the ultimate end to people leaving their homes.. Maybe not for our generation, but I think the next generation will really struggle with this.. Games like World of Warcraft have already made lots of young people reclusive gaming addicts, but with this level of reality it could do some very serious damage if not used in moderation.
Either way, 2015 marks the beginning of the virtual reality age. Personally I think this is going to be as big, if not bigger than the internet in terms of its impact on society. This won’t happen this year, but in the next 5 or 10 years things will be very different in the western world.