For those who do not know "The Oculus Rift" is a goggle-like virtual reality interface. It lets you see game-spaces in full stereo vision with the intent of delivering as close to true to life 3D imagery as possible.
It isn't the most unsightly device and people who try it out are saying it delivers on its promises. Full stereo-3D imagery with motion tracking and acceleration. That's a pretty interesting technological feat, but like touch screens did in the 1980's will it become "old hat" and be revisited twenty some-odd years down the road? If it holds mainstream appeal it might be around to stay like 3D televisions.
An "Oculus Rift" coupled with another VR device called "The Omni" will deliver the closest to a feasible mass-market virtual reality solution that has been devised in human history. But what will this combination of technology do for those interested in VR technology? And what will the societal implications of this technology bring?
A reasonable speculation suggests it will bring closer attention to the dietary issues and lifestyle choices effecting gamers. How so?
In an industry where the bar for storytelling is set mid-point with plots lines like, "Turtle kidnaps girl." its safe to say the bar is fairly low. It is because of this fact that games like "The Witcher" and its trilogy, "The Elder Scrolls" and its saga, and "Minecraft" and its value as a creativity outlet resembling that of lego, it is clear sprawling worlds with depth matter to people. I ask, do they matter enough that people will be willing to literally walk across Skyrim? Will it matter enough for people to literally want to walk around Rapture? Because the tandem concept of these two VR devices promises you will be able to do that. The problem there in is, will gamers be physically able to do it? The passion people feel for games tell me that they will try.
These two devices are a bell I want to hear ring and loudly because the industry may be changed by them. 'Couch and controller' type players may become the smokers of video game players. This may mean a step in the right direction towards how gamers are targeted in marketing with what products and by what companies. You want to walk across Skyrim? Chips and soda will not get you there. Snack foods cannot deliver the energy or focus you'll need or want in order to walk several kilometers or miles within an evening. Therein is the daunting realization of the immersion. A GameFaqs Diet section where gamers can talk to other gamers about the most nutritional bang for their snack and soda teething dollars. Before a two hour jog through Skyrim what do you eat? What makes you feel more alert? These will be questions on forums and message boards and it will be enough to get the attention of a public eye. The promise of immersion may be enough to shed pounds off of many people.
The concept is being able to build and walk to your friends house in Minecraft, to be able to walk the fields of Halo, and tread every step of Gordon Freeman. Staying sharp and being well fed will become more important this and the positive effects of exercise and physical exertion leading to more fulfilling rest is a far more impressive and real promise surrounding new VR tech.
If walking through Rapture means eating three square meals a day and getting a good nights sleep, it is a positive for a positive. Reason enough.