First Click: My body is ready to jack in to the Rift

June 15th, 2015

10

My first game console was Pong. It was also my last. But I’m pretty sure the Oculus Rift will mark my return to gaming.

My exile wasn’t entirely of my own design. While friends would eventually own Atari and Sega and Nintendo systems, my parents made the brash decision to forbid gaming in favor of doing stuff, any stuff as long as it was outside and away from the TV. As an adult I’ve met each new generation of game consoles with the same wistful declaration: this is the year I return to gaming. Then I read reviews that downgrade the features I’d been excited by to mere gimmicks, until finally I just throw up my hands and say, ok, let's see what comes next.

What’s next is virtual reality. VR draws a bold line between what we’ve known as gaming and what’s yet to come. In that respect the Rift is perfectly named:

Rift | noun | A crack, split, or break in something.

Even the Oculus logo is brilliant, resembling both an eye of cybernetic design and a port for jacking your brain into another world.

Maybe I’m wrong about Oculus. Maybe the headset I buy will be from Sony, Valve/HTC, Microsoft, or Razer. We’ll certainly learn more at E3 this week and the nine months or so before the Rift and peripherals are released. But I’m not wrong about the promise of VR.

I was lucky enough to be in the room when Oculus had its big coming out party three years ago. I’ve since tried Rift in all its physical incarnations for gaming, art, and immersive story telling. It’s not just next generation gaming — it’s next gen entertainment.

My parents are gone but I can still hear their cautionary tones. Still, I think they’d be fine knowing that I was about to go outside and experience the future, even if I’m just sitting in front of the TV.

Five stories to start your day



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