Kevin, who plays video games in a cloud of his own filth while his wife assembles his furniture is currently drooling in Slack over the latest virtual reality announcements. Because the only thing better than this world, is a virtual one.
In the virtual world, we don’t have the concerns of the real world. We can live virtual lives, crawling up the precipice of a reality that ends when we want it to. Kevin, seeing the pain and struggle of the physical world, is ready to fully succumb to the infinite pleasure of a world that ends with Bruce Willis and mediocre CGI.
The current hotness that has Kevin is mainly the Sony Playstation VRannouncement of Iron Man VR, Blood & Truth, and Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted. Mostly Iron Man. Kevin dreams of a world in which he can fly around in an iron suit and not just have to be content with jumping off the roof wrapped in aluminum foil and bubble wrap.
While the future of VR is heavily dependent on adaptation by the porn industry and the enhanced experience of teledildonics, that No Man’s Sky VR mode looks pretty fucking awesome. So it’s pretty easy to see why Kevin is sweating from pores that are normally content to just occasionally squirt out an odd hair here and there. The future of VR is starting to form into something marketable and exciting.
Kevin is wrong, augmented reality is where it’s at
Yet, I can’t help but think that wearing large goggles on our faces while we maintain our nutrition through a constant IV bag attachment is not necessarily the strongest selling point of virtual worlds. Rather, augmented reality should, and will, take center stage at the point where the technology advances past having to stare through our phones. The days of Yelp’s Monocle are already in the past, so it’s time for augmented reality to leap forward into holograms and augmentations spirited into the physical world through devices other than our phones.
When we can view, interact with, and function within an augmented reality world then virtual reality will be regulated to what it is — a plaything. Sure, virtual reality has its educational uses, but Kevin doesn’t want to be educated. He just wants to pretend to run around the living room and shoot things, knocking over furniture that his wife built, and generally happy to not have to collect any more bed sores with a console controller in his hands.
While a fully interactive augmented reality world might be the future that science fiction and a functional society might demand, virtual reality is something we can access in the present. Worlds in which we can escape the dull monotony of this reality present a very titillating release. Augmented reality is still somewhat tied to this reality, so it will be some time before we can truly accept either one of those things. Kevin has no intention of waiting that long.