Virtual Re-“ow”-lity

Things perceived as real become real in their consequences.”

Émile Durkheim, La Sociología Clásica: Durhkheim y Weber

This past Christmas I took a plunge I wasn’t entirely sure Chris would be on board with. For background – we don’t usually get each other Christmas gifts. Last year I splurged and got him a small thing I knew he wanted for years. This year I secretly purchased not only a gift, but it was kind of a big thing. It was an Oculus Quest 2. A virtual reality gaming headset.

It was a complete hit. Whew!

In fact, we spent time on Christmas day playing golf with CJ and Lauren (who were in Utah, while we were in northern NY). It felt like we were next to each other on a course. Amazing!

Here is Chris playing with Lauren:

CJ, our game maker son even remarked:

I have to say– that was my first time playing multiplayer VR and it was one of my most favorite moments in gaming so far. That was an insane amount of immersion despite simple gameplay and graphics.

A lot of thought went into the gift. In fact, I’ve been thinking about it for a few years, so it wasn’t an impulse buy. Some of you might recall that I blogged about some Virtual playtime we had a few years ago.

We now live in a tiny space, and it’s been good since we have access to the gym at the resort and such, but you know. Covid. Gyms aren’t quite what they were. This really broadens our horizons and expands our visual experiences. And it makes exercising fun. Bonus!

While we can’t travel internationally in person anymore, we can explore museums and landscapes in the virtual headset. My 87-year-old mother-in-law even rode a roller coaster!

When the kids lived with us, we used to spend our evenings playing tennis and golf and Rock Band on the Wii. But that system shipped west with our kiddos. It seemed, upon investigation, that this Quest was the same, but on a different, more modern level.

According to my research, we could play golf (albeit putting rather than drives), and we could play games like Beat Saber, which kept us moving along with the rhythms of music like Rock Band.

This is good, right?

We also like ping pong, and this would allow us to play a real game in less than 48 sq ft. (We could go less, but that is the space we use for it.)

Back in the day we would joke about our injur-wii’s (Chris once got a nasty cut while playing tennis in the Wii — he hit the cymbals on our drumset while swinging, and the blood flew to the walls).

This time I took the brunt of the game-play fails. I was playing ping-pong against a bot, and it was SOOO real. The ball just slightly went over the net, and I leaned on the table to slam it, but it was a virtual table.

I dove to the floor, nailing an ottoman and chipping a toe-nail while upsetting my canned seltzer water, spilling it over the floor and narrowly missed hitting my head on a board my artist husband was working with right in front of me.

Awkward. And a bit painful.

So when you get your Quest. Don’t do that.

Anyway, moving on. Lesson learned – (in VR you can actually run up to the ping pong net).

The gift was a hit. The only problem was that we had to take turns and couldn’t play each other so we ended up getting another.

And guess what? I’m not into looks and weight so much until it becomes unhealthy. But to be real, I was about 7 lbs over optimal weight due to my love of eggnog.

Since we now spend our evenings playing Beat Saber, golf, and ping-ping rather than indulging in movies and wine, I am currently only one pound over healthy zone. I call that a win.

Even if there was a bit of a virtual re-“ow”lity learning curve.

9 responses to “Virtual Re-“ow”-lity”

  1. I never thought of this as something we would enjoy but it really sounds like fun. Except for falling on the table!! We used to play wii too but haven’t lately. This sounds great, and a way to have fun together.

  2. Catching up on stuff! Love this post, I can just about imagine how much fun VR games must be, and admit I am very envious! So great especially now because our social life is so constrained.
    I caught your mention of eggnog – my fiance John loves eggnog and looked in quite a few groceries/supermarkets near us but no luck, they had none in stock this year! Covid-related shortage? Who knows. He finally found a weird coconut/eggnog combo but said it was awful. (Me, I don’t like eggnog at all… the thought of raw eggs I guess. (shudder) 😀

    • I’ve had almond eggnog, and it’s okay, but not the real deal. You can make homemade eggnog, too, and you can even cook the eggs. Just have to be careful so it doesn’t ruin the texture.

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