Have you ever wanted to experience a scene from your favorite movie or maybe interact with the environment of a scenic video game such as Minecraft? Well, virtual reality is the answer to such curiosity. As the technology behind televisions and video games continued advancing, virtual reality began to be an idea many pondered upon. Technology in the 80s is nothing compared to what we have today but developers tried their best to represent the ideas many had on their minds and delivered a product that would prove to be a failure and kill down the hype train.

Although this has nothing to do with virtual reality, the Power Glove by Mattel was the beginning of the end. It allowed the user to interact with objects on the screen as if their hand was in the game itself but the lack of games developed for this product made people lose interest in this revolutionary idea and thus the hope of virtual reality itself.

Fast forward to 2012 and the Oculus Rift is being announced. Designed to immerse you into the virtual world, this piece of revolutionary software would allow you to interact with your surroundings in any given virtual environment. Disappointingly enough, the Oculus Rift suffered the same fate as the Power Glove as it was too expensive and inaccessible to many due to the fact that it was designed for powerful computers. As with most mistakes, people learn from them and VRChat was announced in 2017. Using the improved technology of the Oculus Rift, the Oculus Quest would allow you to experience the virtual world like never before. VRChat is the future as it allows you to interact with the rest of the world in a 3D model of any character that you wish. It sounds like a complete fever dream if you were to try to explain to people in the early 2000s that technology would advance to the point where you would be able to talk to someone from Britain in a Homer Simpson avatar as you were in your small room in California in a Kermit avatar.

This “game” caught the attention of many as it allowed you to finally communicate with people from all over the world. The game gives you complete access to limb movement to convey your emotions with ease. Not only that but the many “realms” in the game gives you access to communication with a variety of people from different countries who go in the game to make new friends or just relax. The sudden boom in virtual reality influenced the release of VR Minecraft, the virtual reality version of the most popular sandbox in the world. Minecraft is the one place you go with friends when you are bored of the real world and craft many bizarre creations on a sandbox that has an infinite amount of possibilities without actual technology. Being able to experience this game in VR is an indescribable feeling as you feel like you had actually been in this blocky world your entire life. Where this technology is headed is unknown but many do wish to be able to experience what people in the science fiction story “Ready Player One” were able to experience.

Virtual reality is a technology many video game developers should be focused on as many still wish to be immersed in that reality and run away from this pathetic reality. Such freedom would give opportunity for friends to meet up with each other in pandemics or natural disasters. I do believe that further improvement of such technology would make it possible for us to walk on the surface of Mars from the comfort of our living room or maybe roam around dinosaurs millions of years ago. It would be a very good educational tool as it would allow students of many ages to experience or pursue their goal in life before setting out to spend years of their life to get a degree in a given field. I also believe that virtual reality would give us the secret to holograms as all you are doing is projecting a 2D image as a 3D projection.

Phones and physical keyboards would be left behind as improvements would be made to make life easier with holograms. Despite being nothing more than a challenge, virtual reality could grant us the wish of space travel as many planets and black holes could be programmed and rendered to be a nearly perfect simulation of given natural occurring event. The technology of virtual reality could also open the doors to simulations. Simulations would be life-changing as it would allow scientists to conduct experiments in a world that is like ours but will not harm anyone as the people and places in such simulation were programmed to behave a certain way. Tests such as the effect of nuclear war and nuclear winter could be simulated and inspected to help us prepare for such unlikely event. As brief as the information i gave was and as repetitive the word “experience” was, I really think that the improvement of virtual reality would do nothing but change how the world works. What began as a idea by kids to be able to “live” in their favorite video games became an idea that has allowed many people to connect with others despite the given distance and the circumstance the pandemic has brought.

VR Minecraft can be seen as the beginning as it was finally able to achieve a dream many had and that was to be immersed in a silly little game for kids where they can mine and craft anything anywhere at anytime.

Whether software developers see this as an opportunity to begin working on holograms or simulations, both would seem as world changing. Holograms would make it more convenient to gather, store and share information to people around you with a simple surface. Simulations on the other hand would make it possible for scientist to experiment with unlikely scenarios and allow them to help us prepare for such events.

Author's Bio: 

I am a computer science professor. Being a tech enthusiast I keep close tabs on trends and will be glad to share and discuss the latest wrapups in the field with the community.