I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in the not too distant past the future I had been waiting for since my youth arrived. Pretty much the only thing missing from it was flying cars. Holograms, virtual reality, cars with TV’s in them, watching whatever TV I wanted when I wanted, video calling, wristwatch computers and Penny’s computer book from Inspector Gadget are all real things now. It’s true that we (probably) can’t control doors in ancient tombs with our computer books, but otherwise, the phones we carry do a lot of the things Penny’s computer book did. When I was a kid I thought that all of these were going to arrive at the same time. And that time was the year 2000.
It’s probably one of the most common unfulfilled dreams in America today; that age-old, childhood aspiration of growing up to be a supermarket clerk working in a stressful, thankless, multitasking environment under the constant scrutiny and criticism of your superiors. Well, thanks to virtual reality and nDreams, you no longer have to endure those sleepless nights imagining what might have been. Just strap on your Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or PSVR, load up Shooty Fruity and suddenly you’re there, listening to the horrible elevator/Wii Shop music and frantically scanning groceries while also using a whole arsenal of weapons to blow up mutant fruit.
Fail Factory is a game developed by Armature Studio and published by Oculus. If you pay attention to the Gear VR at all you have probably seen the trailer for the game. If you have and you are anything like me, you thought it looked like an entirely unremarkable game and had no idea what it was about. You could be forgiven for that because the trailer does a pretty bad job of showing what you actually do in the game.
This past Friday morning I awoke at 6:30 am to what I thought was the sound of a door opening in my house. I inspected the entire house in my underwear with the leg of a high chair to fend off any would-be robbers and decided that I must have dreamt it. By this time I was awake though so I checked the internet to see what time Wal-Mart opened, saw that it was very soon, and headed out to pick up Super Mario Odyssey for my Switch.
It’s confession time. There is a piece of me that I’ve been trying to hide because I was worried about how my audience would react. This has been the case since back in my VR Giant days. I reasoned that it had nothing to do with what I was writing about so I didn’t need to bring it up. But the truth is, there is a lot of hostility in the VR community (really, almost anywhere on the internet) toward this that has made me afraid to be overt about it.