Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Virtual Reality Essay

(9/18/2018) --- I bought a simple VR set from the place I work, nothing fancy and nothing expensive. It only cost me US$10 and personally; I am not disappointed as is a basic visor, but if I purchase a second set I probably would buy one with a remote clicker so I could interact with the virtual enviroment.

Right the technology is quite primitive, not on the science fiction level but surely had evolved since the days of The Sword of Damocles (1) and it has become more interactive than it was on previous decades.

Probably the first time I heard about virtual reality was in 1995 by Nintendo and the Virtual Boy (2). Back in those while I was living in Colombia, the only concept that I had about virtual reality before the era of the Internet was by books and television shows such as Star Trek, in which I could dream about the wonders of living in a simulated reality. Within the Virtual Boy, more than immersing yourself in an alternative reality, it became mostly one of the first incurssions of 3D gaming outside P.C. gaming.

Virtual Boy
The idea of the Virtual Boy was mostly set on a 3D enviroment but with some very poor graphics, that on a personal opinion they triggered migraines and it was problematic to focus. Then, three years later on 1998, on a family trip we went to DisneyQuest (3) an interactive indoor park owned by the Disney Corporation and it was the first time I actually experience the idea of what it was virtual reality with the ride of Aladdin Magic Carpet Ride (4) gave me a full immersion into what it was virtual reality.

It was a journey to another world, a simulated world in which the senses are overwhelmed by the vision field, where there is another world just on your finger tips and you are there, but you can't touch it. It's just a fantasy world composed by digits/

It's quite unique and strange to describe virtual reality when it started to become mainstream, as there was a charm to explore the unknown in entertainment. An aspect that is amusing about virtual reality is that is not strictly bounded to lenses, as I saw in DisneyQuest for the first time 19 years ago, it can be related to the simulation of the enviroment, you can be whenever you want to be based on the experience.

The virtual ride of Pirates of the Caribbean, was something amazing as you as the player was placed in the middle of a galley fight that involved ghosts and interactive weapons i.e. cannons. You could feel the wind and sea in your face, even the seasalt making the experience quite addicting because you were there as a person and the immersion was fantastic.

In 20 years of my almost 34 years of existence, I never imagined how much the different set of technologies applied on home entertainment and electronic family entertainment would evolve in such an amazing way. I remember the days of the Atari, when the Nintendo was bought in the house, I was so happy with the pixels and to be able to play something different, it's been almost ten years since I went to DisneyQuest now that it closed only a few months ago, and I am still mesmerized by virtual reality because it can bring the impossible scenarios into a whole new level.

With the incursion of the Oculus, the idea of VR became again a hot topic a few years ago, mostly as it can take the dimensions of video game into a a level that hasn't seen before. Exploiting 3D person games within the shooter or sandbox genres can bring a whole new of development. Imagine being immersed in the world of Tamriel (5) and explore a land that is visually astounding but also with an amazing narrative.

It is just amazing to explore something as big as the map of Skyrim and even further to take the idea into a VMMRPO to push the boundaries of human interaction into a fantastic setting.

The ability to create strategies and explore a world that is hostile seems to be amazing, you would be able to do it in a group or do it alone, to create a persona that goes beyond the avatar and you as a player could take some fame and stardom; albeit, fame is the least of the aspects of online gaming you should seek but to enjoy a story and a new narrative.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sword_of_Damocles_(virtual_reality)
  2. http://nintendo.wikia.com/wiki/Virtual_Boy
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisneyQuest
  4. https://www.roadtovr.com/end-of-an-era-disneyquest-first-vr-attraction-set-to-close/
  5. https://www.playstation.com/en-us/games/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-vr-ps4/