If you’ve broken out your new Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, please remember one thing in mind: not everything you see is real.
In other words, if you’re wearing your Oculus Rift and fully immersed in a virtual world, don’t try to sit on that couch you see. It also likely wouldn’t be a good idea to lean on the virtual wall or table. As it turns out, you’re still living in the real world and you’ll probably just fall over.
The Oculus Rift started shipping on Monday. The device was designed in part by co-founder Palmer Luckey and was one of the first big hits on crowdfunding service Kickstarter, where it raised $2.5 million in 2012. In March 2014, Facebook (FB), the world’s largest social network, acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion.
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Like other virtual-reality headsets, including upcoming devices from Sony (SNE), called the PlayStation VR, as well as HTC’s Vive, the Oculus Rift places users into a virtual environment. The content is delivered to the headset via high-end “Oculus-ready” computers that can churn out the resource-intensive games and other content designed for the wearable. Users are encouraged to sit down while playing with Oculus Rift to reduce their potential safety issues.
Fitzpatrick’s finding is just the latest in a long line of laughable (but legitimate) warnings Oculus has delivered over the years. In 2014, for instance, the company warned users not wear the headset while riding a bicycle or driving. It also suggested people not use it near stairs.
With those caveats out of the way, the issue is now reminding people that they’re not really living in the virtual world they’re looking at. It might seem odd, but Oculus (and Facebook) are apparently looking to cover themselves in the event users forget that the graphic-designed wall they’re looking at in that fake video game really isn’t real. Oh, and neither is that pixelated couch.
It must be a new world of warnings. And they’re getting funnier by the day.