Virtual Reality Facebook?
Facebook is at it again—Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to take over the world is slowly coming together. Okay, maybe Zuckerberg doesn’t actually have plans to take over the world. Yet some skeptics might believe so, especially after his company purchased Oculus VR, a virtual reality company, a few weeks ago in late March.
Oculus VR is a growing company that manufactures virtual reality headsets called the Oculus Rift. Zuckerberg, as well as the makers of the Oculus Rift, believe that virtual reality could be the future of communications and media.
The Rift is a headset that goes completely over your eyes. It looks like a big, funky pair of ski goggles. The headset is often accompanied by a set of headphones. Images appear on the inside of the headset. However, since the headset completely takes up the user’s field of sight, there’s a sensation of actually being immersed in what you’re seeing.
By taking up your entire field of sight and being accompanied by sound, the Oculus Rift has the ability to confuse you into thinking that you’re actually there—is this the Matrix or….? Someone who tested the device with a rollercoaster simulator has told me that the sensation is wild. She was acting as if she were on a real rollercoaster—putting her hands up, trying to hold on to the bar, and moving side to side when the rollercoaster turned.
Needless to say, the thoughts on what this could bring are downright polarizing. Some believe that this could be a phenomenal way to consume media. Just imagine being fully immersed in your favorite show, movie, or video game. We turn to these forms of media as an escape from reality anyways. Being completely immersed in an episode of Game of Thrones is the ultimate form of escapism.
As intriguing as that sounds, some people still seem to be confused as to why Facebook wants to be involved with this. Facebook is a social media giant—it lets me stalk ex-girlfriends, see pictures of my 8th grade science teacher’s dog, and share hilarious links on my friends’ walls. What the fuck does any of that have to do with virtual reality? What is there to get fully immersed in with regard to Facebook? Do I put on the headset and get surrounded by Facebook? That’s not necessarily something I want.
We already live in a society of narcissistic assholes thanks to Facebook. A lot of people confuse the Facebook world with the real world. A virtual reality Facebook could just make that a hell of a lot worse.
There’s really no telling what this Facebook/Oculus VR deal will bring about momentarily. It could be the start of the next technological revolution. Virtual reality has potential to allow us to experience different forms of media in great ways. If this deal is handled the wrong way, the already blurred lines between the Facebook world and the real world will only become larger.