The Oculus Rift is going to change storytelling forever. In June 2014 Wired Magazine released their monthly issue and this time it included a cover story on the new video game experience called “the Oculus Rift”. The founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey announced in April 2012 that the Rift was a sixth generation unit that he was building. Luckey wrote on the forums the following:
“I based it on the idea that the HMD creates a rift between the real world and the virtual world. Though I have to admit that is pretty silly. :)”
To put it bluntly, the Oculus is a big deal and we will see more of it in the future. Especially considering the fact that Facebook’s very own Mark Zuckerberg purchased Oculus for $2 billion. Zuckerberg predicts that video games are just the introduction and not the conclusion for Oculus. Additionally, Zuckerberg went on to state in a Facebook post in March 2014:
“Imagine enjoying a courtside 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.”
Zuckerberg is not the only big name that is attached to the Oculus brand. Videogame legend John Carmack left id Software and joined Oculus as their CTO. For those who do not know, id Software is the company that created Doom, Quake, and the concept of 3-D gaming.
At the end of the day, consuming media will be drastically altered by virtual reality. For all intents and purposes, virtual reality is not about achieving a type of presence. Instead it is about feeling like you are existing in a virtual space. Bringing classrooms full of kids to a “field trip” such as a museum can potentially occur. No one will have to wait in the lines and no one will have to wait to pay for their tickets. The same can be said about classrooms. Students would not have to commute far distances just to attend a class. Instead they can put on some goggles and let the Oculus experience and the educational experience occur.
In the final analysis, virtual reality used to be a nauseating experience for its users. However, Oculus has built the headset to trick your brain. Oculus focuses on your brain, the display, your optics, and positional tracking. Zuckerberg and Carmack are backing up this company and their putting their money where their mouth is. By and large, virtual reality is not the same as it used to be. Whether you are a shameless gamer or just an inquisitive person, one thing is for sure, Oculus is here to stay in this reality.
Winters, D. (2014, June 1). Inside the Oculus Rift . Wired, 78 – 95.