One Wild, Occasionally Nauseating Week of Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift

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I have no idea if this is actually the future of video games.

Guess what? A week with a potentially groundbreaking new technology isn’t long enough to make an informed call on whether it will be A) a fad that quickly dies out, B) a niche thing that gets a cult following but never goes mainstream, or C) a revolutionary new idea that fundamentally changes how we interact with technology. Most likely, it’ll occupy some sort of middle ground. I really can’t say.

After a week, though: The Oculus Rift is often extremely cool but for now it remains assuredly niche. However, the central idea—the feeling that you are inside another reality—is so immediately impressive that it transcends gaming and can appeal to darn near anyone. There’s an intuitive immediacy to VR that sets it apart from many other interactive experiences. I wouldn’t be able to convey the appeal of Dark Souls or The Witcher to my friends who don’t play games, but the Rift explained itself to them in mere seconds.

The Oculus Rift is easiest to recommend to the hardcore PC gaming set, despite the fact that over time, its appeal will likely prove to be much more universal. That universality is what makes me hopeful that this technology will grow and thrive: as it continues to improve, the Rift of the future really could be the breakthrough that sci-fi nerds like me have been excitedly pondering for decades.