Most of us have heard of Second Life – that antiquated online virtual reality platform of yesteryear where users could explore, create, and even sell content. You might be surprised to learn that not only are they still around, but they’re also employing the Oculus Rift and completely redesigning their virtual world. With support of the DK2 Rift, the possibilities for a Second Life platform where users can share and explore each other’s creations opens up some interesting doors.
Envision a world where you could log on to a “virtual net”, put on your favorite VR headset and let your imagination run wild. You and some friends could make a city, a planet…and entire universe that you and thousands of others could explore. With a little bit of dreaming
and an arduino, VR can bring dreams to life.
When you play a computer game where you’re driving an F1 car, when you look back after you’re done playing, you’ll remember playing a computer game. But if you drive an F1 car in virtual reality, you’ll look back and remember driving an F1 car.
Now, before we get too excited – know that this is not a novel idea. With Facebook’s recent purchase of the VR giant, they are clearly looking into the idea of networking VR headsets together to bring users into a single massive virtual environment. There are also a handful of independent developers looking into the MMO idea. Though Second Life has a good foundation to make such dreams a reality, they will have competition.
But is this the future of virtual reality? Indeed, the Oculus Rift is a game changer. But what “game” is it changing? Does its future, and the other VR headsets in the pipeline, exist merely as an enhancement for video games? Will VR redefine the social network? Maybe it will live up to the hype and become the next evolution of the “Internet.” Or will it go down as a fad, the way it did before, only to be looked back upon as an interesting novelty with no practical purpose, and discarded as another one of history’s technological creations unable to meet its promises.