10:44 PM, Friday, September 21st, 2016:
Future day was a year late, at least for me.
Today at 6pm I finally cleared the bloatware from my new laptop bought specifically to run virtual reality for the new time machine package I have planned where you fly through the air. I knew the technology was finally ready, got a good deal on a headset and the last step? The pc to run it that had to be a laptop so it would fit in the time machine. Finally arrived, and I ran the set-up.
Jaw-dropping is an overused word. My jaw was sore from being open... ha, it just occurred to me what this sentence was about to sound like... fine, make blowjob jokes, I don't care. In my house, I experienced a future I honestly didn't know existed. I had done the VR shit on your phone and the resolution always bothered me, and the barn-door shit (pixelation from low resolution)... I knew the Rift and Vive were better headsets, yadda yadda... I just knew from the descriptions it was good enough for me to start building this "ride".
I was not prepared for the overwhelming sense of wonder... the likes of which, christ almost to the day, happened to me 20 years ago when I got the N64. Actually, when I saw a news piece on Mario 64 that spring, I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. And wow, come to think of it - it's the same "Difference": The playstation was out, but their 3D was more of a static character running in place in the middle of the screen while the world moved past. Crash Bandicoot comes to mind. Mario 64 was different. It was a 3D character in a 3D world jumping around. It felt different. It was a revolution. But it wasn't going to change humankind, it was a revolution in gaming. VR is different. Much different.
VR has been the same for awhile now - a window INTO a different world. You strap it on and you can see all around you. Your head is tracked, yadda yadda... so why is this different? With the Vive you set-up these two base stations in your room that have lasers to track you in a 3D space. Before you begin playing you LAYOUT the space so it can basically cater the game TO your room. I have a pretty big space once I move the couch: 12x12 feet. When I ran the set-up I was in a massive soundstage and was walking ALL around the space as a little robot told me how everything worked. My jaw never closed. The sense of SCALE was so extreme I couldn't process it. Sure if you focus on the lenses within your headset, you can see some pixels, but you have to TRY to do that. You instinctively look at the sheer distance around you. The depth is so remarkable... and at the same time you can walk RIGHT UP (and through) the robot giving the presentation and he couldn't be clearer. It's just an absolute wonder to behold. I stopped immediately, grabbed the family (literally took Cam out of his bath) and made them do it. Cam giggled with absolute delight. The controllers allowed you to make balloons and he just giggled and giggled. Vienna was a little more scared of the entire endeavor, but nonetheless smiled and laughed. Once the kids were in bed, Talya and I did a few demos (waiting for one to download as we speak) and all of this in the midst of...
...someone in the apartments behind us, stabbed a little girl, threw her out the window and then set the building on fire.
The reason my laptop was so late getting to me was the entire block was cut-off and the UPS guy couldn't get to me. I'm pacing all day wondering what the fuck is taking so long, only to see a fire behind GolfKon and start to freak out. Then the news came to interview me because they saw me taking video. They told me what happened and I just zoned out. Vienna was looking through the window and I just... I focused on air-dropping the guy the footage and they gave me a quick interview. I then proceeded to take a walk and weep like I haven't wept in a long, long time. An overwhelming sadness that only a story like that can give you.
I'm just a mess. This is future day 2016. This amazing day and this amazing tragedy jumps in the midst so I am in actual need of a virtual reality right now. I jump in for a few minutes and play and then Talya takes over... I then watch the firemen outside... it's just... surreal. Such a day.
Anyway, I hid the weeping from the kids and they get to live another day thinking the world is nothing but absolutely wonderful.
Suddenly that's the most important thing I can possibly give them: wonder, happiness and a complete ignorance to how horrific life can be.
Ex. Hale.