SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- Two days after Google’s major product announcements on October 4, Facebook showed up to the party with its nearly forgotten Oculus Rift gear. In April 2014, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled plans to integrate the realm of virtual reality with social media. Now Facebook wants to double down on both. With a crowd of tech innovators hawking augmented reality offerings, the folks driving Oculus hope to distinguish their system by promoting more interactive experiences. So on December 6, Facebook will release Oculus Touch -- handheld controllers that allow gamers and other users to manipulate objects in their digitized worlds. What no one expected was the instant backlash. Aficionados of hardcore VR porn flooded Facebook with complaints. One in particular summed up the core issue: “What the hell? When I’m watching porn, I need a hands-free experience, Mark. Not another stick to control.”
Oculus Touch Can’t Beat the Human TouchOculus says the wand-like devices are designed to be more comfortable and intuitive than traditional video game controllers. Furious adult video disciples argue that an unwieldy plastic wand is not more comfortable than a sweat sock, nor more intuitive than four velvety digits and an opposable thumb.
Posted one detractor on Reddit: “I’m all in favor of Oculus giving us some device to enhance the augmented porn reality, but this ain’t it. A fleshlight would’ve been dandy. This thing is like a dildo without a purpose.”
Another commented: “I don’t need a wand, I need a Wanda. But now I can’t get to her, ‘cause I’ve got this broken marital aid in my hand.”
And yet another said: “Welcome to Hogwarts, strokers. Expelliarmus Phallus! Expecto Unocummo!”
Outrage from this niche user group aside, the primary purpose of Facebook Rift is to make social media a real sensation, not a digital exchange. And by that, Zuckerberg explained, people will have total control over their situations in this utopian virtual world.
Patching the Rift of Misunderstandings About OculusOculus Rift was originally innovated as a consumer-friendly virtual reality gaming device. Its high-definition 3-D display draws players into an uncannily realistic world. Some users confessed to flinching at dangerous moments in the games they were playing, attesting to the credibility of the virtual environment. The goggles, closely resembling a scuba mask, contain a wide field of view, accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to track the position of the user’s head, syncing the visuals of the game with the player’s movements.
Following its $2 billion acquisition of Oculus VR, Rift’s manufacturer, Facebook announced a complete redevelopment of the device as the most advanced social networking system in the world.
“Sure, there will still be games, even though that’s no longer Rift’s main function,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. “When you play, or rather experience, Farmville on the Facebook Rift, you’ll believe you’re really working on a farm. When you spin up Candy Crush Saga, you’ll be convinced those sugary treats are falling right at your head. We’re worried it may be too intense for some of our younger users.”
Facebook acknowledges that social networks exist to make dealing with others more bearable. With Oculus, the company seeks to stretch the safe distance between physical and virtual relationships to new extremes. Spokespeople for the Oculus division released a statement to clarify the device’s ultimate purpose:
In everyday life, people can suck. Especially when you’re around each other too often, or at times when you’d like them not to suck. But by adding Rift to our company’s portfolio of social technologies, you can at least control how much and how often people suck when you’re dealing with them. You can’t block your boss or mute your mother in the non-virtual world. Existing laws prevent you from poking someone you like. But you certainly can in the realm of the Rift.
Virtual relationships are a great start, but we’re taking much bolder steps toward singularity. For instance, we’re already working on next generation software applications that will create sensory experiences within the system to facilitate “interactive intimacy.” The best part is when you and your partner have finished being intimate, awkward moments of regret or shame can be avoided. Just shut your eyes to close the application, and it all goes away.
Digital media analysts and privacy experts have expressed concerns about protecting personal information in a lawless virtual world. They also cite the problems of Google’s now defunct Glass product. The sleek design had been attacked by critics as deceptive. Early adopters, or Explorers, often reported angry confrontations with people who had accused them of covertly taking pictures or recording video.
Facebook assured users that Rift cannot be mistaken for eyeglasses or other subtle pieces of apparel. The machine is so bulky and ostentatious that all privacy concerns should be allayed.
“With a giant pair of earphones and a seven-inch, one pound faceplate that completely masks the eyes, all connected to a control box about the size of a small briefcase, there’s no way any person will think you’re trying to spy on them surreptitiously,” Facebook said.
(c) 2016. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. All articles are works of satire. See disclaimers.