Over Christmas, the Oculus Quest 2 had its Nintendo 64 second
Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business, has some harsh words for the Oculus Quest 2. He has even gone so far as to call it a sexual depressant, an object so unattractive that it prevents people from doing it To have children.
VR is prophylaxis that ensures that you will never have a child as nobody will want to come near you. (If so, make sure nothing is done as colleagues don’t want to work with you.) Https://t.co/RMADmvim3O August 20, 2021
It’s a tough, if humorous, take on the world of virtual reality, which is increasingly dominated by Mark Zuckerberg’s meta. The Oculus Quest 2, now called Meta Quest 2, is the most accessible VR headset on the market. At $ 300, it can play a good majority of the titles on our list of the best VR games, as well as social VR experiences like VRChat. And that without being connected to an expensive gaming PC.
Even so, for a long time it was considered a niche product, only for those interested in cutting-edge games or simulation races. But last Christmas videos started to flood the internet of Quest 2 unboxings and fun first experiences. It’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s VR headset was the must-have gadget of the season.
A specific video was circulating on Reddit in which a child opens his Christmas presents. The video, which was posted on a subreddit we can’t name because it violates our style guidelines, shows a child desperate to open their Christmas present to find an Oculus Quest 2 in it. Then he completely freaks out.
Warning: decrease the volume.
To see this child screech like a mythological banshee and then move on to “Naruto running” through the living room filled me with second embarrassment and joy. I was embarrassed because I could easily see myself as that child. But I felt happy for him as he was likely experiencing a level of happiness that I haven’t felt since I was also a kid opening a treasured gift.
Fortunately, there isn’t a video on the internet in which I indulge in such a level of hysteria. But it reminded me of another viral video from nearly two decades earlier, the famous Nintendo 64 video. A brother and sister freak out just as much because they get Nintendo’s cassette-based console.
And here’s the thing. The Nintendo 64 was a real mainstream gaming device. It went down as an important part of gaming history, spawning genre-defining titles like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I never thought the Quest 2 was in the same league as the N64. But as I continued browsing through subreddits, I found that the VR headset has taken the next level of mainstream. And I could tell by the number of posts complaining about kids ruining online multiplayer.
(Although Meta doesn’t allow children under the age of 13 to create an account, they could play games on a Quest headset through a parent’s Facebook page.)
One post asked parents not to let young children play multiplayer games. On the Reddit thread, user Ok_Priority_3281 said that kids are “usually toxic, annoying and stupid”.
On another Reddit thread, user johnnydaggers claims that kids got downright sore with apps like Echo Arena and VRChat, claiming he is sometimes “surrounded by kids spitting racism, sexism, sexually explicit conversation, etc.”
“I suspect it’s due to a mixture of immaturity crossed with anonymity and a sense of disembodiment while inhabiting a virtual avatar,” said user johnnydaggers.
In fact, johnnydaggers went so far as to post a post on Oculus ‘User Voice forums adding suggestions on how the platform could deal with teenagers’ mass toxicity.
As frustrating as it may be for Quest 2 early adopters, the cat is out of the virtual poke. During Black Friday, the Quest 2 was a top selling item on Amazon. Retailers like Best Buy had Quest 2 headsets in stock up to the ceiling. Every recent flood of toxic kids and teens in VR rooms shows how far Meta has come in bringing VR into the mainstream. At this point, no online pleading with parents is going to help control the influx of young people who crave the slightest hint of agency they are given. And let’s face it, parents probably want a break from some of these kids too.
Much to Professor Galloway’s chagrin, Quest 2 has become mainstream. Whether it will lead to a birth crisis in two decades remains to be seen.
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