One of the things that video games can do magnificently is create worlds. These posts are an occasional exploration of games that I love because of where they take me.
To my right is the station, Kronos II, looking decidedly worse for wear. To my left is Saturn, its rings glittering with a stark beauty. I can see the mining asteroids and container fields in the distance – and the inscrutable anomaly, extending tendrils of pure energy in my direction. Everywhere else is the cold infinity of space, beautiful and deadly. There is only one thing to do: I grab hold of the railing and, slowly and methodically, make my way towards my captain and friend, Liv, pulling my weightless body through space inch by inch.
It’ll soon have been a year since I got my Oculus Rift and joined the small but growing ranks of people who don’t care how stupid they look wearing VR goggles. Even after all that time, and hours spent exploring a virtual reality that thankfully doesn’t look anything like The Lawnmower Man, the tech still can leave me awestruck, and the latest instance of this is when I finally checked out Google Earth VR (which doesn’t officially work with Oculus Rift, but hey, the internet isn’t just full of porn and cat videos, it’s also where you’re likely to find a solution for each and every one of your tech problems.)
One of the first things I did: I went home.
Okay, no: first thing I did was be a virtual tourist, as one does.
The first thing that came to my mind when I put on my Oculus Rift for the first time and found myself looking around virtual reality, was a line from the original Star Wars: “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.” Thank you, Obi-Wan, you’ve put it well. While I haven’t yet spent all that much time in VR, only the occasional hour here and there, I’ve already stared up at the jaws of a T. Rex bellowing in my face, I’ve seen the Little Prince’s planet floating in mid-air just in front of me, and I’ve navigated a one-man submarine into the wide-open mouth of a giant prehistoric fish.