I’ve been hearing a lot of hot takes about there being no compelling VR experiences, so I want to share one in which I participate each week.
I graduated from North Staffordshire Polytechnic in the UK in the late 1980s and I met two of my closest friends there. One lives relatively nearby in Switzerland, maybe a couple of hours drive, and the other lives on the other side of the world, in Sydney, Australia.
Every week we meet up and chat. A zoom call would not work - we’d just stare at each other awkwardly and give up after a couple of weeks: We are English men in our fifties after all.
Instead we play golf. Every weekend on a Sunday we meet up and play mini golf in Virtual Reality. Walkabout Mini Golf has a variety of courses, ranging from totally traditional to one set on a space-station, and another set on captain Nemo’s nautilus. We play random courses on hard mode.
The golf is really just the scaffold upon which we build our conversation, and it works. We mock each other’s golf shots, talk about our kids, and how life is going, and it’s great. It is all about sharing an experience, and chatting.
They say that maintaining friendships is key to happiness, especially as you age. Catching up each week with my real-world friends from around the world in VR is one of the highlights of my week.
Don’t be too quick to dismiss VR experiences - they can be as real as this, especially when they are all about shared social interaction, or in other words, hanging out with friends: