Billionaires See VR as a Way to Avoid Radical Social Change

The future virtual reality is much more than video games. Silicon Valley sees the creation of virtual worlds as the ultimate free market solution to a political problem. In a world of increased wealth inequality, environmental disaster, and political instability, why not sell everyone a device that throws them into a virtual world free of pain and suffering?

Tech billionaires aren’t afraid to share this. “Some people misread it and react incorrectly. The promise of virtual reality is to create the world you want. It is not possible to give everyone whatever they want on earth. John Carmack, co-creator of Doom and former CTO of Oculus, told Joe Rogan in a 2020 interview that not everyone can own Richard Branson’s private island. “People react negatively to any economy talk, but that is resource allocation. You have to make decisions about where things are going. Economically, you can offer virtually more value to many people. ”

Virtual reality is an engaging escape, but not a solution to the world’s diseases. The problems of the real world will continue beyond the metaverse boundaries created by companies like Epic, Valve, and Facebook. Without decisive and radical action, our planet will continue to burn, the gap between rich and poor will grow, and totalitarian political movements will flourish. While some of us are connected to a virtual world.

Even worse, the virtual world will be a company owned and controlled by the companies that created them. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a Facebook branded VR glasses set attached to an emaciated human face forever.

According to the free market principle, Silicon Valley lives and dies, virtual reality is the loser. According to the December 2020 hardware survey, only 1.7 percent of Steam users own a VR headset. And while it’s true that headphone sales increased during the pandemic, video game sales in general rose by roughly 30 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

Valve released Half Life: Alyx In March 2020, just like when lockdowns start. This was the first new Half life A game in 13 years, a franchise fan sequel was desperate to play for more than a decade. It sold well for a VR headset north of 2 million copies, but it didn’t match the incredible numbers of 2020’s best-selling games and was quickly forgotten by the mainstream press. If you’re not really interested in VR, you probably weren’t talking about Half life In 2020.

The reasons are obvious. First, virtual reality is expensive. At the top level, Valve Index, Valve’s premiere title, costs $ 1,000. Cheaper, Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 is $ 299. Play AlyxThese headsets need to be connected to a high-end gaming computer. The price of these machines may vary, but something that can handle virtual reality costs around $ 1,000. After the machine is set up and the headset is plugged in, the player will need to create a dedicated physical space to play the game. Most games require at least 6.5 feet x 5 feet, but the more space you have, the better.

Virtual reality requires an incredible amount of cash and space to set up correctly, and the headaches don’t end there. Right now it reminds me of the early days of video games. It works most of the time, but I spent hours desperately changing settings, adjusting controls, and reconfiguring hardware to get the best experience.

Cash, space and time are not a guarantee that you will enjoy VR games. Some people experience nausea and dizziness in virtual reality. Sometimes, you can get around this by properly tuning the hardware or gradually exposing yourself to the technology. Some people take “VR legs” and adapt. Others never do. Aside from the VR disease, technology is incredibly inaccessible to people with different abilities. The industry has made huge strides towards making video games accessible to a large number of people in 2020, but with its bulky headsets and awkward controllers, virtual reality is simply impossible for some people to use.

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