Social media juggernaut and baby-picture delivery system Facebook officially launched a war against the last remnants of concrete reality on Tuesday, purchasing Oculus VR for $2 billion, or roughly $1,985,000 less than the United States paid France for the Louisiana Territory. “Oculus VR” might sound like the name of the evil cyborg crime lord from the fifth-worst science-fiction film of 1991, but it’s actually the virtual-reality technology company behind the Oculus Rift — and “Oculus Rift” might sound like something near which Roy Batty saw C-Beams glitter in the dark, but it’s actually a virtual-reality headset which hopes to change how people interact with the Internet while also making everyone look like guests at the world’s laziest Geordi La Forge cosplay party.
The Oculus Rift is nominally a videogame device, but Facebook CEO/hoodie model Mark Zuckerberg sees it as so much more. “Oculus has the potential to be the most social platform ever,” said Zuckerberg about a technological breakthrough which promises to make it easier than ever to never leave your home or even get out of bed. As he pointed out on his Facebook page, the sky is the limit, to the extent that people of the future will even understand “the sky” as a concept:
Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.
Of course, we’re still a long time away from that — “Long Time” being a Silicon Valley approximation for “let’s shoot for Q4 in 2015.” Right now, the makers of the Oculus Rift only want to use it for one purpose:
Opening up a wormhole to an alternate dimensions where Sliders actually happened Videogames. But Zuckerberg is bullish. “Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures,” he says, describing the possibility that someday a human being will spend the entire day sitting in an ergonomic beanbag with their eyes and ears closed off to the physical world as our ancestors understood it, having experiences and adventures.
“Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction,” Zuckerberg concludes, glossing over the whole “dream-becomes-a-nightmare” plot point that frequently occurs in science fiction stories. The point is, that the world has officially become Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace.