Facebook has changed the way people interact with each other. It has literally changed the world, in both positive and negative ways. Facebook is arguably the most well-known and most popular used social media tool and now, Facebook is set to enter the world of virtual reality. It just announced last week that they will be purchasing Oculus VR for $2 billion.
Oculus is known for its unique invention of the Oculus Rift headset, which covers your eyes and immerses players in a new world. It responds to head movements and will revolutionize the way gamers play. The headset is not yet available to consumers, but once it hits the market, it is projected to change the way people today will communicate, play, and even work. Both Facebook and Oculus don’t just see their innovative products as for only gamers, but instead they want to take it beyond that to make it a computing platform that people will use for everything.
Think back. Just 10 years ago we had cable modems and DSL that made it more difficult to get online and play games. Today, in just a few seconds you can turn on your computer, iPad, or your phone and start playing. Think forward another 10 or 20 years. Technology like the Oculus Rift headset may only be the beginning of completely immersive technology. Nick Yee, PhD from Stanford said the three elements that make gaming addictive are: Immersion, Achievements, and Social Connections. Books and movies only do the first: immersion. Online gaming has the ability to deliver all three. As immersion and connectivity explodes, such as Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus, this generation of kids that are growing up surrounded by new technologies will begin struggling with gaming and technology addiction at young ages, if parents do not establish healthy boundaries. Without clear boundaries, the flood gates of technology addiction will be unleashed if people are unaware of how technology affects the mind.
By Brooke Strickland and Andrew Doan MD PhD
1. O’Toole, James. “Facebook to buy virtual reality firm Oculus VR for $2 billion.” CNN Money. March 25, 2014. Accessed online April 6, 2014. http://money.cnn.com/2014/03/25/technology/facebook-oculus/
Here is a talk by Dr. Doan explaining how games act like "Digital Drugs" stimulating the mind and body like pharmaceutical medications.