We have all seen videos on the internet of people trying out virtual reality headsets. They scream with confusion, fall face first or flat on their ass, run into walls, hit people and things around them, the list goes on. I became one of those people. Yesterday for the first time I decided that I wanted to curb my curiosity and see what all the hype was about, getting more than just a first-person perspective. I’ll admit, it was a blast. Even after falling face forward and watching my girlfriend fail at helping me because she was laughing too hard, I was ready for more. It was almost like giving a child their first bite of candy. There was an immediate craving for more. Humans are naturally prone to addiction no matter what it may be. I was, even bleeding from my elbows, excited to see what more I could do at the expense of making an ass out of myself. After it was all said and done with though I began to wonder. Exactly how far could all of this possibly go? Not only in the long run of possibilities for VR but how much will it have an impact on us? Could this be the next advancement in progress for the human race or will it be the next advancement in our demise as a whole?
Even though there are a lot of things out there that are bad for us, we can never get enough of something. Television, the internet, and smartphones alone are primary examples of how easily a person can take a tool of recreation and information and turn it into a tool of necessity. You can’t go anywhere on a daily basis without having to deal with any one of these three entities. You may even be on your cell phone right now reading this. Well, the big three are about to have a new friend to compete with. I’m of the belief after my experience that the VR technology is about to demolish the competition and everybody is going to want a piece of its shit. It will become more than just a form of entertainment but more of a lifestyle. It’s already being advertised to us like that and is going to be hyped up even more with the book and film release of “Ready Player One”. It’s the perfect advertisement for it but unlike the “hoverboard” in the Back to the Future franchise, VR is already available for the home consumer at an affordable price. It’ll be quite alright though because the TV and the internet are going to be the ones to tell us that it’s totally safe and the new cool.
Don’t get me wrong. VR is amazing and has infinite potential as to what it could do. Imagine what the Nintendo Wii did to bowling is what VR is going to do with reality itself. There would be no need to travel to a big concert or sporting event. You’d be able to pick your seat from your seat at home and then be able to switch at your convenience. Imagine even a first-person view from the drummer or quarterback’s point of view! There would be no need for traveling the world when you could use the Google maps VR capabilities and walk the world without your feet ever touching the ground. The ability to experience anything you wanted without leaving your living room. ANYTHING. There will be no need for on the job training or most forms of schooling anymore when online classes and job training is available to you while wearing your pajamas. These are all cool things but it would make the idea of staying inside and not truly experiencing the world face to face a thing of the past. Social media, mobile dating apps, any form of Internet-based communication has already dumbed down the world as a whole. Could you imagine VR taking over all of these elements in full force? Dick pics are going to evolve into something even a lot scarier.
There is one thing though about the VR experience that kind of triggered me the most. It was the minor sense of euphoria felt adjusting not only to the VR world but adjusting back to the real world itself. A new form of altering your mind and it wasn’t via a drink or drug or feeling of spirituality. It was the sensation of the new addiction hitting the streets. I, like any other human, have a very addictive personality and as I said even after falling flat on my face, I was ready for more. The human race can’t get enough of addiction. Literally. The idea of addiction is one of the main entities that hold us back as a species and billions throughout time have suffered and will continue to suffer because of other’s addictions. VR will be nothing more than the digital gasoline to make sure that fire keeps burning. There will be no need to do the things in life that make and shape us to be the personalities that we individually are. We’re all going to be plugged into the same network, much like we are now, but on a massive scale to where people will become more a part of the technology’s life than the technology being a part of their life. Get ready for all the potential diseases, mental conditions, and sickness that will happen strictly because of this technology. There will more than likely be an overabundance of prescription drug commercials with a thousand side effects trying to tread VR-PTSD. Insurance companies may even have a chance to bullshit their way into VR insurance to not only protect yourself, but to protect your property and loved ones that become casualties as a result of your swatting at your fictitious kitties.
VR is awesome. It’s what we always dreamed of as kids. It’s in the infantile stages still of growing into the force that Terminator 2 had warned us about. I can guarantee that much like TV and the internet, as bad as I know that they are, I’m still going to go back to see what the next level of VR has to offer. It’s always new and exciting to be on the brink of the latest technology and be able to share and experience this with others. Although there is the “drink responsibly” mentality among us, we’re still going to go out and get completely shit faced with sprinkles on top. We’re an ADD world these days and not just one thing is going to cut it and we’re always going to need more and more. I’m hoping that I will not see the climax of the effects of VR. I’m hoping that my uneducated and hair-brained predictions don’t come true. I’m hoping that there will be some sort of self-control exhibited with this new endeavor of technology and fear the doom and destruction that it could potentially bring. However, as much as I suspect and slightly fear the negative influence this might have on the world, I’m hoping for one thing. I hope that at least I have a good program for VR on my dying bed so I can comfortably be somewhere else as die with some form of false dignity with poop in my pants.