During my tech bar hours, I was able to experience virtual reality.  I played in the Oasis of the book and now new movie called Ready Player One and a virtual reality game called Fantastical Imaginations.  I had a fun time while my senses were immersed in these virtual worlds.

I have had one other experience with my existentialist class: we had to stand on the edge of a plank and reflect on how we felt.  The person running the vr asked us if we wanted to jump–I did not.

Virtual reality is cool and tricks your senses.  My legs shook as I stood in the middle of a plank, hanging over a skyscraper mind you, as I looked at the ground.  A bird flew near me.  Nothing really concerning was happening, but my body was not convinced that we were on the ground.  When we did the flying part of the experience, I bumped into a skyscraper on the game and jerked back in real life, even though I wasn’t actually about to crash.  Throughout the time, I knew in my head that I was safe, but my natural instincts and senses were led to believe it was real.

During my tech bar hours, I played in a Fantastical Imagination game and failed to build a car.  It took a bit to be reacquainted with my virtual hands and controllers, but I eventually got it.  I had to pick up virtual objects by clicking the trigger of my controller and place them inside an outline of a car.  A pink 3D circle existed as a ball, four long pipe things acted as connectors to the car parts, and two cylinder-ish objects rotated as wheels.  Arrows moved in the direction the wheels moved.  Taking the objects and fitting them into the outline took some guidance.  The games did not always provide more direction other than, “Place this thing here,” or “Click your trigger to grab.”  The rest were implied through arrows.

After a few tries, I managed to create the car well enough that it reached a target.

My favorite game to do was the Ready Player One experience.  I have read the book, which is fantastic, and was aware of what the characters played in their virtual world.  In my experience, I played a Call of Duty-esque game that had me shoot at figures that charged and shot at me.  It took me a few minutes to figure out how to change my own weapon in the game, but I quickly became encaptured in what was happening.  What’s cool about virtual reality is that it encompasses your whole field of vision and fills it so that even when you turn your head, you still only see parts of the game.  Every where I looked was filled with the maze-like structure constructed in the battle ground of the game.  When something charges you, it looks like they are right in front of you, unfortunately killing you with this game, but it still is a shock.

I’m not going to lie: I found myself mumbling swear words and dodging in real life as things killed me, especially with a zombie game where I died at least six times.  I’m sure I looked spectacular dropping to the ground to avoid lazer beams and robot legs.  I could not really hear what was happening in the office with how focused I became on the game.  My supervisor joked that I became lost to the Oasis and would never return.

I can definitely see how this can be addicting.

Yes, the graphics are not completely believable.  There is a tinge of computer-esque graphics where objects and people do not completely look real.  Despite this, it still immerses you completely in the time you are in VR.

Suspend your disbelief and have fun with it.

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