VR will be destroyed by the confused and the nauseous

Someone shared Tadhg Kelly’s article (?) about how VR is doomed, but here’s how you fuck it up further by struggling to make it work like other mediums. I posted a big angry rant in the comments. annnnnd here is that same rant right here on my blog! (sorry?).

Nothing against the guy personally. I have no insight into the minds of people who are made physically ill by VR, so maybe i’m under-appreciating their need to sabotage the movement. but. huh. so much rage.
giant rant in 3…2…1…

Your poorly designed article makes me furious. Subjective snark about how VR doesn’t work, then tired unimaginative ideas about how it should work. All based on near zero experience? (maybe it just sounds like you’ve only had 2 demos. maybe you’ve tried all the systems, and have spent more than 20 minutes exploring all the hundreds of creations out there. but it reads like you had 2 demos, years apart, and now have to tell designers how to handle their efforts in the field)

I feel your points are destructively wrong. this article is actively damaging to growing VR field. (I make games for education, and a co-worker sent this to our group as if it would be helpful food for thought. ugh).

let me be specific:

“Meanwhile the problem with more fancy solutions (like 5-1 speaker setups etc) is of course that they are fixed in position while the player’s head moves. Thus they too are unreliable.”
– not sure you understand that tracking the user’s head means you can update the sound in their headphones, or in their surround sound system.

“Luckey can waffle all he likes about virtual worlds and social networks, but the primary use case will be absorbing single player games.”
– I think you mean to say “mark zuckerberg can waffle by investing billions into this, and call it the future of human communication, but i know better.”

My time with the GearVR has convinced me interactive stories (not movies really when there is no camera man) and spherical videos are going to be much more widely used than games.

” a compass is going to be a necessary component of most VR UI … it can flash or indicate, subtly telling the player to turn around. Expect to need to use a lot of those kinds of tricks.”
– no, people can replay experiences if they miss the huge moments. Good designers will build in multiple competing huge-moments, to take advantage of VR’s unique nature. in VR – you are the camera man. struggling to get people to look in one direction a specific time is a relic from other mediums.

“Microsoft’s notion of the standard living room proved wildly optimistic (well-paid tech people living in Redmond tend to have big houses)”
– instantly dismissing the hundreds of hard work of teams of product testers, and demonizing microsoft as a bunch of rich people.
(i’d agree the kinect was poorly handled. but i wouldn’t guess that the problem was rich out of touch engineering fools.)

“And then two years from now I’ll be on this blog writing about your most hated game saying ‘I told you so'”
– i guess this is just your tone? can’t stand this smug tone.

“like Street Fighter, where the input is essentially a very fast Simon Says game”
– so many other games fit this concept of quickly repeating colorful prompts on screen. quick time events are widely discouraged in game design, and much closer to the concept of simon says gaming. Street fight is about quick response, and knowing which animations can be interrupted, and when, to allow for strategic changes in attack. No part of street fighter is about watching button prompts, memorizing them, then repeating them verbatim.

“Put the lightsabers away for now.”
– I enjoyed a fantastic working lightsaber demo at GDC, in Sixense’s booth. magnetometer based sticks in each hand. you are so wrong about this. stunning.

“try and avoid designs based on close work. A good example would be something like a bomb disposal game….”
– you’ve just described the most popular VR game so far! “keep talking and nobody explodes.” stunning.

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