It’s been five months since I first packed up my bags and left my comfortable Florida apartment where I had been living with my girlfriend to head out west to a small, windowless place in San Francisco to pursue my dream in VR. The distance had been tough on us both but she was incredibly supportive and patient throughout. What made that even more impressive was that she never really believed in VR… until yesterday that is.
I remember excitedly getting my DK2 last year and spending the entire afternoon playing around with it (Ok, honestly I spent half of that time trying to get it working). She came home from work (I worked from our apartment at the time) to find me deep in a Titans in Space demo. After jumping up and giving her a hug I ushered her over to the computer and strapped the DK2 over her face. Pulling out my phone I waited and waited for that magical reaction moment I was sure I was going to capture. It didn’t come. There were some smiles and “oooh that’s cool’s” for sure, but never that big reaction moment.
I tried showing her a few other demos that night but got a continued “Yeah this is cool but ____” (I get motion sick, I don’t get it, what is the point, etc.) reaction. It honestly was a bit of a downer but I persisted until I moved out West and she continued to support me.
Yesterday, everything changed the moment she put on the Crescent Bay for the first time.
Over the last weekend I took some time off to help move her cross country with me, meaning that I was able to take her with me to SVVR. I planned ahead, booking her a slot on Tuesday later in the afternoon to try the Crescent Bay. Knowing how strong my initial reaction had been, I walked into the demo room with her with my fingers crossed that she would have that moment. I was not disappointed.
The usual flat expression of “meh” was replaced with a gigantic glowing grin, which eventually shifted into outright giggles. As she moved through the CB demo reel her reaction never ceased, finally taking the headset off with as big a grin as I have ever seen on her face. She was quiet for a second before saying three words that validated all the months of work I have put into this industry,
“I understand now.”
It was an awesome moment and one we will both remember for a long time. Virtual reality is finally at the point it needs to be for the mass audience to truly grasp it’s magic. It still has ample room to grow but no matter what I think we are all going to be hearing a lot less skepticism from our loved ones in the near future.