Looking Back on Virtual Reality

My grandson using a cardboard VR headset.
My grandson using a cardboard VR headset.

When my kids were teenagers I used to wonder why they spent all their time on Snapchat, Peach, and Tinder, but it’s been fun to watch them fret over their kids’ obsession with virtual reality.

While my kids grew up playing Minecraft, my grandkids have grew up in Minecraft. For what it’s worth, I enjoy hanging out online. I have a house on Mars right next to Elon Musk.

When I was young Facebook was something you looked at through a screen. It seems so primitive now, kind of how books seemed to us when dial-up first came around.

I remember when I got my first headset (this was before VR contact lenses came out). Facebook had just started allowing people to meet virtually in rooms.

At first it was simple. You could change the background on the walls and swap out chairs and furniture. It was kind of like The Sims. But then people started wanting to go “outside”.

That’s when Facebook launched Oculus Outside, the online realm where we all now spend most of our time. 

It seems odd that we all used to drive to work. At least now when we do need to go somewhere that driverless cars allow us to stay jacked in.

I’ve tried different gear over the years – from Samsung to Microsoft – but my favorite is Nintendo.

Nintendo mistakenly missed out on the mobile app phenomenon from 2007-2017, but leapfrogged and dominated VR starting in 2018 just as self driving cars started gaining popularity in America.

I’m young enough to remember the NES and what it was like to play Super Mario Bros the first time. Now I help people who get stuck on Super Mario Planet as a full time job.

If someone would have told me when I was 35 that when I was 65 I’d be doing virtual tech support for avatars inside a virtual world I would have said, “Only in The SDN.”