AKA: We live in the future!

2 minute read

I’ve been saying I want a VR headset for a while now, but they have always seemed out of reach. They all required a powerful gaming PC and were a ton of money for something that didn’t have a lot of great games. Then I started seeing (a lot of) ads for the Oculus Quest 2. No computer needed, and it was around the cost of a Nintendo Switch. It still seemed like a frivolous thing to spend money on, so I just talked about how cool it would be. I never expected to get one on Christmas, but my wife could see the childlike wonder in my eyes when I talked about VR and she just couldn’t help herself.

So I have spent the last week ignoring my real house to clean virtual ones, taking time off from work to play Job Simulator, and nearly throwing up from trying to jump right into full-motion first-person shooter, and I am absolutely hooked. Apparently I’m not the only one, either. As many news sources reported, the Oculus phone app spiked to number 1 in app stores on Christmas day, meaning there are tons of other lucky people who - like me - just got their first VR headset. We’ll see if the buzz dies down, but for now my house has been a nonstop chorus of “can I play in VR?” from all of my kids. And honestly, that’s fine with me. VR is way more active than other video games they might be playing - in fact, I’m sore right now from dodging bullets in Super Hot for way longer than I meant to. If I keep it up, this may finally be a form of exercise I stick to - and I can’t idly snack on junk because I can’t see bags of chips through the headset. It’s amazing!

Seeing how far technology has come in my lifetime is blowing my mind a little bit right now. As I watched my family members dance around in VR, I had a sudden recollection of a Futurama episode where they used a futuristic VR headset.

Futurama's VR Goggles

It looked really cool to us when the episode aired, but look at those things! The headsets are huge and ugly and there are wires all over the place. Compare that to the sleek look of modern headsets that are completely wireless and it is stunning to see what exists. And it’s not even the year 3000 yet - it’s barely 2022! I recount fond memories of the low-tech video games to my kids all the time and tell them they have no idea how far things have come. “You had to actually go to the store, and then you had to blow dust out of the cartridges. It was awful!!” Now I’m wondering what sort of ridiculous gadgets their children will have. If we can go from the NES to the Oculus Quest in my lifetime, what will my grandchildren be playing with?

I honestly don’t have any idea. All I know is I can’t wait to buy it for all of them and see their crazed reactions.

Hopefully they're as excited as that kid who got an N64!


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