If you’ve grown up anywhere in the last 100 years, you’ve likely heard of, and dreamed of, a day when people would have access to true virtual reality machines, machines that would allow the user to become completely immersed in a three-dimensional world that was created purely from fantasy. While there have been plenty of attempts at such technology over the years, it hasn’t been until today that people are closer than ever to experiencing a realistic virtual reality experience through the aid of systems such as the Oculus Rift.
If you haven’t heard about Oculus Rift, it’s a piece of virtual reality technology that consists of a specialized goggle headset that includes three-dimensional sight and sound capabilities, essentially allowing the wearer to become visually and audibly lost in a virtual world.
But Can Virtual Reality Technology Further Your Publication?
With the rapid advances seen in virtual reality technology, it might seem easy to jump on board the idea of creating and publishing stories for such a platform. After all, wouldn’t it be cool to provide your readers with a virtual depiction of the scene of a story, one in which the reader could strap on a headset and actually look around the scene in real time? While, yes, this sounds good in theory, it doesn’t necessarily hold up in practice. People read publications for the storytelling, for the accounts of reporters and writers who have not only experienced the scene, but who can add rich context to the scene.
Merely looking around for yourself is but a novelty, and it will likely wear off quickly. Without the storyteller providing narration and context, eye-witness accounts, and so forth, the reader experiencing the virtual world will be done with the experience within moments, coming away with nothing but a forgettable experience, sure to be replaced by something much more interactive.
Virtual Reality May Be Nothing More Than a Fad
When thinking about creating virtual reality content, consider 3D movies and television. For about five years, from around 2004 to 2009, move studios spent tens of thousands of dollars or more in order to upgrade equipment to handle 3D filming, and movie theaters also invested thousands of dollars in equipment in order to be able to accommodate digital 3D films. To add to that, television manufacturers seemed to be at each other’s throats in getting the best, most effective 3D televisions to market, many of which were sub-par at best.
Today, however, 3D televisions are all but forgotten, and most major releases in theaters have forgone 3D, and instead, opted for good old fashioned cinematography and storytelling in order to entice viewers. What this should mean for you as a publisher is that, while the possibility exists for virtual reality technology to be a storytelling device in the future, that future isn’t here yet, so maybe now is not the time to invest in the talent and technology to bring your stories and ideas to such platforms.