The World Beyond VR
Last week me and my boyfriend went to the movies. My boyfriend’s secret crush on Hugh Laurie led us to be soon seated in an almost empty theater watching the nostalgic Disney logo appearing on the screen. I was curious- would Tomorrowland be like the billion budget electro music festival carrying the same name; a backdrop of something meant to be spectacular and wowing, but coming along as a disappointment for everyone else than the teenagers of 00's, or would it revoke my presumptions and manage to stand out positively from the already too large a crowd of apocalyptic movies?
I wasn’t intended to write a review of Tomorrowland so I’ll leave you with the question open and continue to address the most interesting discovery that sprouted from the story line; the inevitable resemblance between Casey’s obsession of jumping on the never-ending theme-park ride of Tomorrowland and today’s mankind. I am referring to the accelerating evolution of virtual reality, which might become reality for the general consumer sooner than anyone of us could have imagined. It is not so long ago, during the Don Draper Era, when the only virtual entertainment available were broadcasts enjoyed through a big box with a black and white screen and a creaking sound. 50 years later anyone can be heading to space, either literally or imaginably. And the most frightening is, that it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between the real and the imaginary ones.
Hololens, Oculus Rift, Magic Leap, Google Glass. Soon you can play around with the brands and choose the one with the best features or neatest looks, as if you were comparing smartphones. Why buy your significant other tickets to Bali for Christmas when you can buy an Oculus Rift and enjoy the white beaches of the Philippines, (almost) feel the heating warmth of Dubai or walk into the sceneries of Star Wars, all during the same night from your own sofa?
I am not saying that VR is bad. No, no at all. I am waiting with as much eager as all of you to wrap up my own set of Oculus Rift glasses and forget about the reality for a while to become absorbed in anything I am in the mood for during that specific time.
But I can’t deny that I am not frightened about what this might lead to. People are already dying in accidents caused by lack of attention when staring at their smartphones or taking selfies. I can just imagine how it’s going to be like when the streets of the cities of earth are crowded by people living in their own “Tomorrowlands” and forgetting about how the ground under their feet really looks like.