Not long ago I praised the virtual reality industry for its attempts to bring a little innovation to things that had no pressing need for a VR upgrade. Expect a lot of that in the coming years, assuming virtual reality takes hold and becomes the game-changing tech The Lawnmower Man promises us it will be.
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Namely, that everyone with a mental disability will become a corrupt digital god.
If it all pans out, there will be a VR version of everything. Everything. Including things that have no business being in virtual reality and are hardly improved by it. The kinds of things that suck in regular reality and can only go downhill with the virtual treatment. For those who are wondering if some brave, handsome person out there took the time to gather five examples of such things and arrange them into some manner of comedic list, worry not, for I have done just that.
5Watch Netflix In A Fake Living Room Like A Real Idiot
We're at the point with technology where, if I were to release a fancy high-tech blender, people would look at it, confused, wondering why they can't binge-watch House Of Cards on it. In a few years, when you find yourself on the losing end of a bar brawl, you'll be able to catch a few episodes of Frasier on the bottom of the boot stomping your face. "Was that a Maris joke? Kick me again!"
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"No Netflix? Ugh! Philistin-BAAAHMYFACE."
A thing without Netflix is hardly a thing at all; it's barely even stuff. So it's no surprise that the Oculus Rift has a Netflix app. Netflix VR isn't just a streaming video smashed up against your eyes or some Lovecraftian method of actually making you a part of Adam Sandler's next contractually obligated movie. That's too easy. The technology's powers of unparalleled immersion must be justified! So, instead, it shoves you in front of a large screen in a fake living room, sitting on a fake couch behind a fake coffee table.
There's a good chance people will be watching a show in these fake living rooms in front of these fake TVs while sitting in their real living rooms in front of their real TVs. The future will be dominated by stupid redundancies like this because we always prefer a souped-up simulation over an easily accessible and nearly identical authentic experience.
What would you rather play? Golf, or a cute low-stakes approximation of golf?
According to reviews, the app works well, even if it is dumb and unnecessary. All that's going to do is encourage app developers to VR every inconsequential moment in life. Someone might even find a way to VR something as mundane as eating at home.
4Eat Anywhere Virtually Without Leaving Your Boring-Ass House
Oh, Goddammit. See? What did I just say? They went and VR'ed my Pop Tarts and gin.
You dine on the first course of the meal in a garden in Tuscany, surrounded by flowers with a winery in the distance. You adjust your Samsung Gear VR glasses as a cool wind blows and you catch the rich fragrance of the gardens. But when your main course arrives, you find yourself underwater with dolphins playing and fish swimming.
All that crazy garbage up there is Samsung's attempt at fusing virtual reality with eating. Why settle for another lonely dinner in your chilly basement surrounded by your knives and collection of human index fingers when you can strap a phone to your face and eat cold ravioli from the can in the mythical underwater city of Atlantis?
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Dine among the fish farts, you loser.
But why stop at the setting? We can apply the same idea to dinner itself in yet another desperate attempt to flee reality like it's a cop and we've got priors. A group called Project Nourished wants to get people eating bland 3D-printed food gelatin while images projected by VR goggles trick the eater's brain into thinking they're eating something with actual flavor. This is how Soylent Green-type food made of people is going to be subtly introduced into our diets. We've got our masks, so we think we're eating a gorgeously marbled Wagyu rib-eye with a side of lobster mac and cheese covered in freshly shaved black truffles, and we won't even notice the hair and loose scrotal tissue sticking out of the gelatinous people cubes we're shoving into our mouths.