Virtual reality: like a dot.com bubble (hype, liminal spaces and guinea pigs)
Yeah John…I totally get what you are saying here. I jumped a bit too enthusiastically into it with a luxury hotel chain last year (virtual tourism) and a friend and artist this year. Wrote a bit about it here, “Marketing Virtual Reality Video to the Music Industry”.
After “sobering up”, and pretty much after listening to the FB F8 the other day, and the 10–20 year mark you mention, I totally get why you are writing this. I felt the need as well to give the scoop of the non-innovator side of the marketing stream and what it is like on the other side with early adopters.
I don’t think your intent at all is to ruin the party. You just don’t want others to get drunk and you may be coming off the high and disappointed like me that this awesome tech isn’t going to be part of our reality for a long while.
All this hype is useful though. If it isn’t hyped up, startups building the tech won’t get their VC funding and the dream of virtual reality as a medium of expression, creativity, experience and empathy will never exist…so it’s part of the PR game.
Of course, it could just degrade into a disgusting alternative world sucking the life out of humanity. Create more isolation and be over-taken by porn, drugs, and the underworld. Much like the music business (joking but not).
I think it is great you wrote this piece. There’s nothing wrong with sending info back from the front lines without being labeled a killjoy, ruining the VR giants buzz, or their funding parties. All the big players are into it, the party is so loud, no one’s going to hear the whimpers of us beta testers.
Anyway, we are just market research and guinea pigs now. It’s okay. we are the stuff the tech will be built on.
I just worry about people like artists on low budgets, or small companies without funding that may get caught up in the buzz and lose time and money without knowing the risks, because there is absolutely way too much hype out there. And a decade is a long time.
I think a disclaimer like: “proceed at your own risk this tech won’t make you any money for 10 years.” if you are a mom and pop operation. If you are an innovator, well it appears something like the dot.com bubble of the late ’90s. It certainly feels like it. Where a lot of money was thrown around to innovators.
Articles like these presenting alternative views… do help others entering the field. Maybe we might be a bit careful in the choice of our title’s — “VR is a dud” is as sensationalist as the sensationalism you are informing about.
Finally, I get the use of the title. I needed the bait to click, otherwise I wouldn’t have read it otherwise.