It exists, you know. Planet Facebook. Sure, Oculus and Facebook might have tried to keep it secret for a while, but secrets were meant to be shared.

I found it through the same pirate flatsite most people do. Some designers named Bronson Zgeb and Gruau Pomme Lackey said they "made" FaceRift, but it's just a quick cover, a feint to tie the lawyers up in a copyright knot. It won't work for long, but by the time Zuckerberg finds out, the FaceRift client will be installed on a million computers in a million cities, unfolding through the web like an origami pop-up book. The beauty of social networking, isn't it? Nothing is forgotten, at least until we switch completely to our infinitely malleable Apple-jacked, Google-jacked, Verizon-jacked smartphones.

It's everything you've ever dreamed of from realside

I had to jury-rig eight wires to plug into FaceRift: three for the monitor, Rift, and computer power units, two for the screens, one for the serial bus tracking interface, and another two for the keyboard and laser trackball. That's not even counting the earbuds. But the crude technology fades away once you're inside. It's everything you've ever dreamed of from realside, the kind of place that could only ever be virtual. The fountain burbles with its impossible globules of 256-bit water, the planar mountains float in perpetual dawn. Not that you'll ever reach them; they're outside FaceRift's unscalable ivy walls. I'm sure somebody is on those mountains, but it isn't proles like us.

Bookface

The altar holds something like the Facebook we know, but it's subtly different, more impressive. It isn't just that you mouse with your eyes. It's that the words, always the least essential part, are only blurs. All status updates, when you get to the bottom of things, are the same. I was here. I did this. Even the pictures are just a distraction, which is good, because they swim like you've emptied the liquor cabinet. No, what makes Facebook is the comforting blue and white box, always hovering around the edges, clearly visible. Oculus' new development kit is higher-resolution, but those extra pixels simply aren't necessary. Facebook is as it should be.

"Your friends are more real in 3D," they said. Granted, I couldn't find my friends, or talk to them, or really tell who was whom. But isn't that the truth of it anyways? You can't get them on the phone, or you have to cancel lunch because the subway's thrown a switch. I have never felt more connected than I did standing on that empty expanse of checkered floor.

I'm out, for now, back in our primitive 2D internet. But I'm not sure how long I can last. I've seen the future, and it is us, beautiful black goggles shutting out the neon lights of Times Square as we gather, alone, together.

Someone poked me. He looks interesting, at least the twenty pixels I can see of him.

I wish I could read his name.