Life is a wonderful, precious gift. A miracle and a mystery all at the same time. Why are we here? Where did we come from? Most of all, why is it so boring?
Every day you wake up, like the day before. You brush your teeth (we hope), and isn’t that the same toothpaste as yesterday? You catch up on the news or Facebook (this is a euphemism for going to the bathroom, while at the same time being an apt description of what is happening in there) just like yesterday and every day before. Then you go to work and fight to keep awake as you do that same boring old thing you’ve done day in and day out since the beginning of time! Or so it feels, amirite?
Well thank goodness that Virtual Reality (VR to those in the know) has finally arrived and thanks to this wonderous technology you may never have to endure the unbearable ennui of that other VR… Vanilla Reality. I just made that up. Pretty good isn’t? It’s better in Virtual Reality.
Because we are so accustomed to our workaday lives we may find it difficult to fully appreciate all that VR has to offer. So we’ve put on our thinking caps and come up with ten, non-standard, anything but boring, ways to use VR. The very idea that virtual reality could become common and stagnant seems utterly presposterous, but nevertheless, we feel you should get up off your couch once in a while and take full advantage of this wonderous new technology.
Without further ado, or trips to the thesaurus, here is a list of ten ways to enjoy VR!
1. Together In Bed
Let’s face it. Bed’s are boring. The same dull thing night after night after night. No doubt you lay in bed staring at your loved one thinking, “how long can I endure this monotony?” But what if you weren’t laying in your bed staring into the near comatose eyes of your significant other? What if you were instead staring into the pixelated eyes of a Creeper who was about to blow you to smitherenes? Or what if your bed was actually some sort of space ferry that could fly and deliver cargo around an alien planet? Would you be bored then? I think not. Just make sure that you and you’re now enthused loved one don’t smash your headsets together in your newfound childlike vigour.
2. While in the Bathtub
Well here we are again. Another Wednesday, another bath night. Yawn. But wait! This time will be different. This time you are armed with your Gear VR and a copy of Ocean Rift. Feel the sensation of water on you body as your eyes feel the sensation of virtual water in your magic goggles of wonder and enchantment! Was that a shark? Was it a whale? No! It was an adorable Sea lion. Reach out and pet it. Augh! Immersion destoryed. No hands in mobile VR yet. Forget I said that reach out and pet it part. Rewind. It’s an adorable sea lion. Look, but don’t touch please. He will eat you if you move. Just remember that actually submerging your head while in VR is a bad idea unless you hate VR and love destroying expensive electronics.
3. During your commute
You’re on the bus, or the train, or riding shotgun in the carpool on your way to work. Regardless of the actual situation you are thinking to yourself, “how did I end up here? I had such big dreams! Can’t I start again?” No! Of course not! Don’t be ridiculous. Instead, pull out your VR goggles, pop in your smartphone and become someone else, somewhere else. You’re not boring old you driving to your hum-drum job, you’re a secret agent in training, using a jetpack to fly over the city blasting robots. Or maybe you’re piloting a spacecraft taking out alien scum and saving the universe. Thanks to virtual reality, the dreams of your youth now seem too small. And also you want to throw up.
4. In Bed, But By Yourself
Maybe you don’t share your bed with anyone. If that’s the case there is no one to complain when you don your VR goggles, head into a deep cave in Minecraft, and toss your blankets over your head to get that full immersion. No more burying yourself in tears of boredom. Now you can bury yourself in amazement thanks to virtual reality.
5. Walking your Dog
Every dog owner knows that if you go anywhere near the dog’s leash he will go crazy. Walking is exciting when you’re a simple animal whose hobbies include sleeping, eating and sniffing butts. But for us more complex creatures walking can be an excercise in tedium and ho-hummery. Why not turn your daily walk into an event worthy of a full body tail wag by bringing your VR along? Use the pass through camera to add a tiny amount of lag to your life. Who needs alcohol now? And depth perception? You had that since you were a baby. Now you can find out what life is like in glorious 2D. You’ll be asking yourself, is this what it’s like to live in a movie? And of course it isn’t, but what fun to think about such things instead of just waiting for the dog to poop!
6. At The Dinner Table
Back in the olden days, before VR, you used to have to endure eating meals with the same people up to three times a day. Someday, when VR is as ubiquitous as today’s cellular telephones, I’m convinced that those days will be dubbed The Dark Ages: Part Deux. But you don’t have to wait for that. With modern VR and hand tracked controllers you can not only eat with whomever you please, you can eat whatever you please. Not impressed with the Brussels sprouts served by your mom? Throw on your headset and suddenly you are eating pizza served to you by that favourite actress of yours, or a creepy, lifeless computer simulated version of her… but we’ll get there. We’ll get there.
7. While on the toilet
As mentioned in the introduction, no one just goes to the toilet anymore. Can you be any more 1990’s? But how many more times can you read inspid Facebook updates from people who think their ham sandwich is newsworthy? Oculus claims their product is focused on seated experiences. Sounds like a match made in heaven to me. Just plug your computer into the outlet in the washroom (sorry UK folks, maybe get an extension cord?) and suddenly the toilet can be anything. Maybe it’s a throne you sit upon and command a kingdom. Or a seat on a rocket ship as you experience the moon landing (or should I say “moon landing”? Am I right, YouTube?) As a bonus, if you’re having a bit of trouble with the works, you can always play one of the many horror experiences and scare the sh… well, get things moving.
8. At The Dentist
Dentists would be boring of they weren’t so terrifying. They put on a good show of being a part of modern medicine, but when it’s time to go to work they pick up the same tools the dinosaurs used for torture and then you, for some reason, let them stick those tools in your mouth and hurt you for 45 minutes. A recent study that may or may not be real, recently concluded that people who wear VR while having dental work done are total nerds. It’s also been said* that VR at the dentist can reduce anxiety and even pain. There aren’t many apps that work well in a reclined position, but there are video apps that will work so maybe you can find a documentary about clowns and be reminded that dentists are not the scariest thing out there.
9. During Boring Meetings
What happens at a meeting? You sit around a table, listening to some white-haired old guy point at some pictures and say things like synergistic, value added this, coversion opportunities that. At least I think that’s what happens. I don’t go to meetings. But you don’t have to go to meetings to know that they are boring and in need of some VR. Let everyone else sit around that table wondering what the heck oldylocks is talking about and you kick back at the beach, listening to the water as is laps against the shore. Best part, no sunburns and no seagull poop.
10. On A Rollercoaster
If you’ve ever been on a roller coaster you are probably aware that they can put you to sleep slightly faster than strong cough syrup. Up the hill, down the hill then up the hill again. Seriously? Didn’t we just do this? Oh look a loop! Nice try! That’s just a really steep hill. ks;fghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Sorry about that. I just feel asleep on my keyboard from thinking about a rollercoaster. If the idea of being at the top of a high hill looking over the boring old earth yet again has you wanting to rest your head on the pad of the bell ringing game while Mr. Muscles gives it his best shot, then I have good news! VR can help here as well. In fact, the good folks at Six Flags are riding my wavelength and have tackled this problem head on by adding VR to some of their snorecoasters. (Totally just made that up too. I’m on fire!) Pilot a fighter jet as you defend the earth from an alien invasion or cheer on Superman as he deals with yet another mess from that scoundrel, Lex Luthor. Either way it’s better than looking at the tops of stupid old trees.
Well there you have it. Ten ways that VR can make this dull, drab existence we call life a little bit more palatable. These ideas are just to get your brain juice pumping so that you can come up with more ideas of your own to improve your life with VR. Right now, VR technology is somewhat limited, but don’t worry! Someday we will be able to jack directly into the machine and create our existence on the fly. I suggest getting some good experiences now so that when that day comes you have something to draw on. Otherwise your created world will just be you riding a rollercoaster on the toilet, looking at pictures of ham sandwiches while some old dude drones on and on about actionable this and put-a-pin-in-it that. And no one wants that.