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"Is VR Bobbins?"

Posted: 06 May, 2019


As a game developer / game player / early adopter, I've converted to be pretty bullish on VR. For games it should be a transformative experience, and in the right hands (cough Jeff Minter cough) I'd argue that it already is. But I do totally get why people don't feel this way.

VR at this stage is pretty brutal:

Thanks to being gifted a Mixed Reality headset I now regularly use VR gear, and I constantly have to do a dance of resets, cable swaps, and application menu dives just to get the things to work. It is, quite frankly, laughable how badly thought-through most VR interfaces are. Yet all of these problems are transitory.

VR headsets are selling, and selling better than most people think. Concurrent usage keeps increasing, month on month. More and more games are using them. Art applications in VR are transformative. Even UE4 in VR is the sort of thing I can see myself using, day-to-day, quite soon. And I'd like to think that these setup wrinkles will, eventually, get sorted. Standards are already appearing.

So is VR bobbins? Well, yes, right now, this second, you are likely to be bobbined if you just expect things to work every single time you plug in the headset. But VR and AR are the same thing, and they're moving much faster than most people appreciate toward a future that I'm very excited about. Because damn-right I'm upgrading my speccy-four-eyes to do both. And damn right I want to hop in-and-out of the real world, into 'real++' when I'm watching/playing/working.

All tech is bobbins at the start, no matter how many early adopters rave about it. What we need to be careful about right now is writing this set of technologies off, and leaving Google and Facebook to own the whole space. That timeline starts to scare me...