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Some shocking truths about virtual reality

Hey, how about we hang out together on the edge of 1000m high cliff and have a chat? Or we could all sit round a campfire and watch owls flying round the treetops? Or why don’t we stand in the middle of a frozen lake in our shorts and do some fishing?

The not-so-wonderful world of virtual reality

Not grabbed by any of those group activities, maybe you aren’t ready for the wonderful world of virtual reality.

Or, more likely, the world of virtual reality isn’t ready for you. Think glorified games consul, rather than an immersive experience, and you’re pretty close to the mark at the moment.

So if you’re expecting the type of perception-altering VR you see in the movies, you can expect to be disappointed.

Is VR chess worth wearing a headset for?

Even positive reviews of Oculus Rift are struggling a bit to make, ‘simple card games’, seem worth the effort of strapping on a headset. They don’t even try to whoop up chess. Probably because it’s impossible to find much of a difference between playing opposite a grainy avatar and playing on your phone.

Do you need more Netflix in your life?

Good news is that Netflix are promising VR Netflix and Chill in the future. But don’t get too excited, it’s the post-adolescent version. Literally watching TV shows with other virtual viewers. And yes, that is just as sad as it sounds.

VR’s going to get better. The day will come when all your potential virtual chums don’t sound like extras out of a 70s stoner movie, ‘whoah man, realistic vulture, cool man’.

But it’s so far away from there right now, if you’re really desperate to virtually interact you’d be better digging out Sims again.

Boost your friend count in the real world

Or you could try a really radical immersive experience and make some real friends in the real world.

Sure, they won’t be as pixilated and they probably don’t live in inter-galactic mansion houses built entirely of rose quartz and gold dust. But there’s a good chance they’ll be up for something more fun than watching the first two seasons of Narcos, again.

You need to get out more, it’s a fact

Anyway, you need to step away from the TV right now. According to the consultancy firm, Deloitte*, over 70% of subscribers watch Netflix for upwards of 100 minutes every day, but only spend 38 minutes socialising.

So while you’re waiting for VR to get as good as the movies, and punishing Netflix for deceiving you into watching Iron Fist because Jessica Jones was super-feisty, download Pal and make friends in the real world. It’s actually free, unlike any VR headset.

*Deloitte Netflix survey 2017