Thankfully, the "mixed reality" project at University College London allows users to combine the best of both worlds by tossing your virtual reality playmate into the real world, like a sexy poltergeist.
However, no amount of science or technology can make her eyes look any less dead.
The avatar of your virtual lady can even interact with you, holding your hand while presumably telling you that you look like a tragic idiot with that huge nerd helmet hanging off your face, and that, quite frankly, she's embarrassed to be seen with you. Much like the body-swapping experiment, mixed reality works by mounting a camera on the front of an Oculus Rift headset, although the creators are hoping to eventually replace that with a smaller, Google-Glass-type setup, so people will think you're merely a douche instead of a full-blown maniac.
"But Cracked," you say, "These goggles are useless! I can still tell she's not a real person!" Well the researchers thought of that, too: by placing a filter over the visor, you can effectively distort the real world images enough that they become indistinguishable from the virtual images beside you. Not in a way that makes your virtual friend look more real, mind you - it just makes everything look like a sad, desperate illusion.
It also makes your voice sound like Keanu Reeves eating peyote waffles.
Another application allows you to conjure a floating browser window and surf the Internet, like the least-impressive warlock in the history of the world.
We ceased to be wowed by the Internet long ago.
So get ready for a not-too-distant future in which a bunch of lonely men with visors can be seen walking happily down the street holding hands with phantoms, and spending romantic candlelit evenings violently thrusting their pelvises into the air around them.
The third part of XJ's epic science-fiction novel is out now on Amazon. The first $0.99 novella can be found here, with Part 2 out here. Or leave a review and get a free copy! Poke him on Twitter and follow him on Facebook.
For more virtual reality nonsense, check out 4 Video Game Gimmicks Nobody Likes Anymore and 4 Ways Virtual Sex Will Be More Embarrassing Than Real Sex.