The Passivity of Virtual Reality
I think people overestimate the interactive function of virtual reality.
When people talk about the virtual space, they claim “interactivity” is the differentiating thing.
But I disagree. The “thing” is its technical novelty — the 360 degree immersive view.
Scholars and tech people overestimate (over idealize!) people’s tendency to do things… to be better versions of ourselves. But that’s not who we are as a species. We kinda base & dumb.
People don’t want to do things. We don’t want to do things. I certainly don’t.
I don’t wanna move my arms around. I don’t wanna move my body in specific ways.
I want to sit for a few hours and be entertained. I want my eyes to glaze over in fear or lust.
We want to lay on our backs and rub our genitals while letting a sensory experience wash over us.
That’s the American way. That’s the civilization way, really.
Take the Nintendo Wii, for example.
The Nintendo Wii failed because it removed the party remote control with some motion-tracking fitness stick thing. Nobody wanted that. We wanted our dumb remote so we can play dumb games, sitting on the couch, giggling with our friends. We don’t want to be hopping around, burning calories.
For all of these reasons I believe the interactive aspects of virtual reality will eventually stabilize into a happy medium, with a preference for passivity. To sit back and have a 360 experience wash over you — with the occasional novel head tilting around — will be the ultimate value proposition for VR.
Passivity will win in virtual reality. Virtual media creators who count on people’s penchant for passivity will be rewarded with higher viewership. For fuck’s sake, please don’t make me interact anymore. PLZ!