WEEK OF Spinning in Chairs
Brandon brought his latest gadget purchase to work—Google’s Daydream View.
I’d never played in virtual reality before, and I have to say, I had a blast. I swam with sharks, took a night walk with a fox, and (my favorite) hovered above bears fishing at a lakeshore. I am huge science and nature geek, and VR is really amazing on this front.
Brandon took a rollercoaster ride which he implored me to skip. Some of VR film equipment appears to lack the image stabilizing capacity needed for such an all encompassing screen.
I also took a gondola ride in Venice, which I found more uncomfortable than enjoyable. There were others riding in the gondola, a group of strangers all sitting just a bit too close to me. The filmmaker must have known these folks, or must have been in a friendly mood that day, but either way I felt like my personal space was a bit encroached upon.
We had a good laugh watching each other spin around in chairs and stare fascinated at what everyone not in VR observed as a plain wall. It was good time, but we had an interesting conversation that followed. Would I use VR at home? Would I watch it instead of Netflix, or Westworld? Probably not.
The biggest hurdle for me is that I normally eat dinner or read the news while I watch television; rarely do I park myself in front of a screen and have a fully immersive viewing experience. And at present, the state of VR video content is nowhere near Westworld, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones, etc. Sign me up when Black Mirror is filmed for 360-degree viewing, but for now, there’s a limit to how many YouTube nature clips I can watch on end. I think gamers who enjoy multi-player quests would love a VR gaming experience, though one woman’s story of sexual harassment in a VR game-scape has deterred me, perhaps forever.
There are a number of questions her testimony raises: how is harassment in VR different from harassment online, or face-to-face harassment? What do you do once you’ve experienced it? Are the gamemakers held accountable? The player? Is there legal recourse? Community standards are difficult to enforce; cyber bullying is as old as the internet itself. There’s a lot to consider as VR becomes more prevalent in everyday life, and I’ll be interested to see how policy and any regulations shape this rising technology.
(Heads up, young entrepreneurs: these are all problems that need solving.)
We also finished a few Emerging Technology reports for our clients this week, and we are gearing up to submit RDV to the Apple App Store in mere days!! Follow @LetsRDV on Twitter for the latest updates. We can’t wait to share this app with you.
Currently reading: “Jon,” by George Saunders. If you like Black Mirror but prefer a comedy, you’ll want to check it out.
Currently watching: The Crown, a delightfully dull Netflix biographical series about the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Currently listening to: Presidential, a historical podcast about the character and leadership of past U.S. presidents.
Most recent purchase: *Even more* RDV swag