A couple weekends ago I traveled to Columbus for the first time. For the last twenty years of my life people have described Columbus as a marvelous place. A city worthy of the title capital of Ohio. The home of THE Ohio State University. The city where every concert in the world seems to perform at, leaving my home town of Cleveland in the dusk. However, upon arrival to the "great city of Columbus" I was not marveled by the skyscrapers or the neighborhood restaurants. No young reader, something else caught my attention. A VR headset.
I traveled to Columbus because the Pepsi Scholars Program I was a part of was just having a simple getaway retreat. A day away from Athens where the closest McDonalds is not a 15 minute drive away. My friend on the trip, Matthew, decided to bring his VR headset as a sort of party trick for all of us to play in the hotel room. When Matthew pulled out the rectangular googles out of his bag I was immediately awestruck. For years I've watched videos online of people using VR headsets and playing games. They all describe it as feeling super immersive and breathtaking and I always wondered if they were exaggerating. I am happy to report that they were not wrong.
When the group got to the hotel, Matthew and I began trying to set up the headset. We all know hotel wifi is terrible so the main struggle was just trying to connect the display of the VR to the tv. That way others can see what the user in the headset can see. We tried everything to connect that display to the tv. It was a chromecast television however, the code to connect the headset to the television never worked. Maybe it was the universe telling it was a good thing I didn't get that Chromecast television a few months back. Other attempts were made to connect the headset. Wifi inputs to plugging in the USB cord. Alas, nothing worked.
Eventually once we were done with our activities the group decided to pile on into Matthew and I's room. Most likely because it was the one farthest from our advisor. Matthew let me try the headset on first and I was never so nervous before in my life. I say nervous because I didn't know if this headset would ruin my eyes or not. The screen is super close to the user's eyes. But now that I think about it, staring at the tv too long does not ruin your eyes. I think there was an article about that recently. Anyways, I put on the headset and it was breathtaking. It actually did feel like I was transported to a different world. Planes were whizzing by my ears, fireworks illuminated the sky. I was even playing with a paddle ball at one point. I was in love.
Once everyone saw my reaction they had to see what I was talking about. It was fun to see everyone's different reactions to the VR. I think I enjoyed it the most because I've waited so long. And since I watched so many videos of it online, I naturally got into the groove of the games Matthew had set up for us to play. Overall, I can't wait to get a VR headset. Matthew said they cost $400. So at the rate I'm working now by 2030 I should have them.