Virtual reality is probably doing something right if people are poking fun at it and in a new skit from the Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show, Facebook’s relationship with Oculus and that social network’s possible VR future is mercilessly ribbed by the show’s host.
Leaving aside the inaccuracies we all now come to expect from the mainstream media when covering virtual reality (Oculus Rift is not a company people!), seeing the burgeoning VR platform appearing so prominently on one of the US’s most popular talk shows is still somewhat gratifying.
In the new skit featured on a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, an amusing if faintly terrifying world of immersive Facebook interactions is imagined, with virtual pokes, virtual bores and even Farmville crazies making an appearance. And whilst the show makes no attempt at accuracy during the depiction (the Oculus Rift is actually a Gear VR), there’s no doubts that it taps into fears (unfounded or otherwise) which prompted such a fuss in the wake of Facebook’s $2Bn acquisition of Oculus VR last year.
Both community (if perhaps not the core) and public reaction in the wake of the move was incredibly negative with popular social networking subreddit /r/oculus seemingly invaded by newcomers decrying the buyout as nothing less than the start of a certain decline of society at the hands of the social networking giant and this scary ‘new’ virtual reality thing. That furore subsided quite quickly, but those fears, however irrational, do still seem to remain in some form.
Either way, it’s refreshing to see a once maligned and near-forgotten technology being lampooned on national television – it probably means that VR has finally ‘arrived’.