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Could the User “Looking Like an Idiot” Be VR’s Biggest Selling Point?

OK, so let’s be frank. When someone dons any kind of VR helmet type affair and jumps around reaching for things and people that aren’t there, they are likely to appear to those not wearing said helmets as…well, idiots. Writer Mark Wilson acknowledges as much in an article about VR in Fast Company. But, rather than suggesting this might be a problem for the industry, he suggests it just might help drive sales. The piece was inspired by an ad for the Vive, the upcoming headset by Valve and HTC, observing, “it looks a lot like a party of people playing with the Nintendo Wii.

“It’s a crafted ad by the studios behind the game, but it makes a believable point: In this sort of group spectacle, where everyone will eventually get their turn to look like an idiot in front of the room, VR becomes a modern day rendition of charades, pin the tail on the donkey, or even karaoke. It’s easy to imagine the late aughts repeating themselves: Middle America picked up a strange and foreign piece of technology—motion controllers—to mime their way through tennis and bowling at Wii parties.”

See for yourself and judge whether or not this makes you more or less enthusiastic about spending an evening doing this.