Virtual Reality Is Our Dystopian Future?


It’s coming. And soon. No one can question that. No one would. But what I question is the direction. I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the future of virtual reality lately. I want to like it, and I do – in concept. What I realized after some thought is I now know the distinct and eventual height of virtual reality gaming. They know it too. It’s social, online, virtual communities. What Facebook and Oculus Rift don’t seem to be onto – is what they want is an MMO.

But it’ll probably follow the current trends of online gaming. Lots of anonymity and lack of accountability.

Virtual Reality and People – An Unlikely Pairing

It might surprise you. It sure did me. I mean I certainly wont forget my first experience with the Oculus Rift. I have an old DK1 which I call foul names. I plugged it in and tried out Team Fortress 2 for a while; I remember feeling really impressed for a while, and then feeling really sick for a while. I didn’t throw up but I really wanted to. When I recovered I plugged right back in and got to work on tinkering with the old Unity “Italian Villa” scene. That time I threw up.

virtual reality made me sick once

A virtual reality scene which once made me sick.

You see, after I realized the inevitable direction of gaming is social… And they know it too, I should insist. Facebook is a social media giant, after all. They’re going to need to create online hubs for social interaction. Most likely these hubs will be built off of current technology.

I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the future of virtual reality lately. I want to like it, and I do – in concept.

Like Demolition Man and Hammer Pants

Back in college, I had a long-winded after-class debate with several classmates, and a professor in which I profusely claimed “PC Gaming wasn’t dead.” None of them did believe me, but this was before a lot of things we now take completely for granted. Obviously it’s still not dead. This is a credibility pass.

virtual reality happened in this movie

Virtual reality happened in this movie!

Maybe Starbreeze’s Arcade thingy will take off. That would certainly help to centralize the social aspects of virtual reality gaming, but that’s kid stuff. Arcades died off with Hammer Pants. People don’t go places to games, games come to them on their phones, by their Steams, and to their televisions. Heck, when I was a kid they even had a nasty tendency of appearing at my doorstep in the backs of PC related magazines. I found Dungeon Keeper that way, and even today – after all this time I still think Molyneux gets more flack than he deserves. Rambling again.

Okay, so the point I’m trying to make is about virtual reality gaming taking a social aspect. I have this vision of a futuristic secret playground where anyone can be anyone or do anything. Since everything we do anymore is anonymous – or supposed to be anyway. I mean that still wont stop the abuse, in fact my argument is virtual reality wont change anything. It’s more like a side-grade to a new kind of way to do the same exact thing but slightly differently. I know how pessimistic that sounds, and I pride myself on optimism. But I’m pretty sure I see the writing on the wall here.

The scary part though is that game exists, it’s Second Life. Worse yet, I hear Linden Labs is hard at work on a spiritual sequel for it. But it’ll probably follow the current trends of online gaming.  Lots of anonymity and lack of accountability. Heck, most of it already is in those various online community-driven games – it’s just soon it’ll all be right there up in your face, if you will. My point is that game is freaky.

TL;DR? That scene from Demolition Man is totally gonna happen.