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Addicted to Virtual Reality

Every time I’ve tried Google Cardboard, I’ve ended up feeling queasy for hours afterward.  So I’ve been avoiding all other VR headsets, believing that I’m just not built for virtual reality.  I almost turned down a chance to try an Oculus while at Mom 2.0.

But I had a few minutes before I needed to be at a meeting, so I shrugged and said okay.

The guy said that he would give me a general VR experience so I could see everything the headset could do.  I visited a planet, watched a fox play by a campfire, and examined an abandoned tea party set-up in a castle.  All of it was cool, but right before one of the segments, I heard the guy say, “You’re going to want to take a step back.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.  Honestly, I had forgotten the guy was even there.

But then suddenly the scene changed and I was standing on the ledge of a building in a futuristic cityscape, staring down 50 stories to the ground while spires loomed above me.  And I burst into tears.  I knew I was in a room; I knew I was safe.  But I was so overwhelmed by the sensation of feeling as if I was about to fly.  I could barely see the last few segments because I was so weepy.

I thought about it all night, and I went back to the display in the morning.  “You can get addicted,” he warned me as he adjusted the headset.  Maybe I am.  I mean, I haven’t had a VR experience since I’ve been home, and I haven’t rushed out to the store to purchase one (though I have poked around about it online to judge the cost).  But I think about it a lot.  I talk about it incessantly.  It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced.

Because it feels so real and the images are so gorgeous, it’s easy to spend time there and forget there is anyone else in the room.  There is a part of me that understands the very thin line that divides reality from Ready Player One.

Have you ever tried a VR headset?  What was your experience?


1 Ana { 05.30.17 at 9:20 am }

I haven’t but now I totally want to (but I’m also worried about queasiness)

2 dubliner in deutschland { 05.30.17 at 9:46 am }

I tried the play station virtual reality a few weeks ago. There was this really cool underwater sequence and felt so real! It was really cool. However, then a shark comes along and I found it very scary! It was too real and quite unnerving! I would stay aware from any of the virtual reality horror games

3 Jess { 06.01.17 at 8:59 pm }

Bryce has one, and he messes around with it every once and a while and had me try it with this Star Trek thing where you walk around and you’re in space looking at different ships going by. It made me feel dizzy and disoriented, but was pretty cool. That 50 stories thing is HORRIFIC… I would freak out. Maybe it could be some kind of aversion therapy, like virtually going over high bridges until you’re not afraid anymore? Nope, that sounds awful. I love the Ready Player One reference. I’m not all in on VR yet. I don’t like the blurred lines.

4 Lori Lavender Luz { 06.02.17 at 10:44 am }

I haven’t tried one, but I am eager to when I get the chance. Maybe this is how I’ll travel the world. Or worlds.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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