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Weekly Webcomic Wrapup is predicting the future of virtual reality

S. Prell, @SamPrell

Is it possible to make a Wrapup post this week that doesn't address the news of Facebook purchasing virtual reality startup Oculus? I don't think so; that is a pretty darn big virtual elephant in the virtual room. For those who need to get caught up, the long version of these events can be found here, but the short version is this: Oculus, a company heavily invested in bringing virtual reality headsets to consumers - primarily gamers - was purchased by Facebook for the princely sum of $2 billion. Which is ... kind of a lot.

The thing is, everything regarding the Facebook acquisition of Oculus and what's going to happen is speculation. My two cents: I haven't tried VR, but I find the technology extremely intriguing. I, personally, wouldn't hesitate to pay the price of a new console for a headset that could make me feel like I was inside of the games I was playing. After news broke about Alien: Isolation coming this October, I realized there was a game that I could truly get excited about experiencing in virtual reality, even though, to be 100 percent clear, VR has not been confirmed for the game. I'm a huge fan of the Alien franchise, and being able to walk around in sets inspired by the 1979 classic while also feeling like a Xenomorph was in the environment with me sounds like an absolute thrill and fanboy dream. If Facebook's money helps such an experience come to life in a bigger, better way, I'm all for it.

That being said, I'm an early adopter type of consumer. I take new technology when I can get it, awful designs, bugs and all. And if there's one thing I have come to learn about people who are not early adopters, it's that convenience and unobtrusiveness reign supreme. As much as I love the idea of VR, it's not going to be convenient or unobtrusive to wear an Oculus Rift or a Project Morpheus. When you dive into the virtual world, you're shutting out the real one. It looks like a solitary, isolating experience, or a gimmicky treat like playing plastic instruments for Rock Band.

But like I said, everything is speculation until the consumer version of the Rift comes out, and I myself have yet to try any VR, prototype or otherwise. I could be totally wrong! The important question is: what do you think? Leave your thoughts after checking out this week's selection of webcomics which, hey, look at that, feature a lot of jokes about Facebook buying Oculus!

Penny Arcade (Aberdasher)
ReadySoup (Facebook Eyeout)
Ctrl+Alt+Del (Facespace)
Awkward Zombie (Hooked)
Nerf NOW!! (Dislike)
Castle Vidcons (Undying Loyalty)
8BitGamer (Deja Vu 2)


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