I JUST went on vacation to the beach AND the mountains – without leaving my home.
Turns out going on vacation in the metaverse has benefits.
For starters, I didn’t have to pack, find my passport, or rush to an airport.
I just donned the Meta Quest 2 – Mark Zuckerberg’s increasingly popular virtual reality metaverse headset.
After a few minutes I had installed and loaded a VR app called Vacation Simulator.
It’s a sequel to the hugely popular (and surprisingly hilarious) Job Simulator.
The premise is that we are in a future world where robots have replaced human jobs.
So you can use the Job Simulator to experience what it once was like to work – in the office, as a mechanic or in a car.
Vacation Simulator is the obvious sequel: experience how people from the past (ie today) spent their time when they were not at work.
My vacation started in a hotel, where I was greeted by a floating robot that helped me get my bearings.
She led me to the bathroom, where I could sort my hair, trim the old beard, and give myself a bleach blonde paint job. Delicious stuff.
And then, just like on real vacations, I went straight to the hotel bed to lie down.
The bed was very spacious and comfortable – probably because I was actually lying flat on the floor on my living room carpet.
There was a basketball in my virtual room, so I got up again to shoot some hoops. The physics is perfect (so I was understandably bullshit), but I still managed to get a few in.
Tired of my meter sportsmanship, I grabbed a virtual juice from my e-refrigerator.
It didn’t taste like much (or really nothing), but the hissing sounds from the headset were oddly deafening.
Then I went to the TV, put a cartridge in a console, grabbed a virtual joystick and started playing a text adventure game about going on vacation.
The irony had not escaped me.
I also tried another cartridge that loaded a Mario-style side-scrolling platformer.
For a moment, as I played on the virtual TV, I basically forgot that none of this was real.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun – so who cares?
That’s when I realized I hadn’t left the hotel room yet. Oops!
So I went out to the beach, where I lay on the sand for a while and read a book about coconuts.
I dove into the sea for a quick dip and even submerged my head.
The audio changed and I felt immersed in the underwater world. I even picked up a shell as a souvenir.
It’s still in my virtual backpack, waiting for me in Zuckerberg’s digital realm.
I picked up a sun hat from the beach shop because I’m not quite convinced that I can’t burn in virtual reality.
And then I decided it was time for a change of scenery.
The fun never stops…until it happens
Next stop was the mountain resort of Vacation Island.
It was a lot colder, so I didn’t plan on hanging out for long – but I did manage to find a hot tub.
A robot has told me I can experience the breathtaking view once I “collect more memories” – the game’s currency – to unlock the area.
Unfortunately I didn’t feel like working during my vacation so I went back to the hotel and decided it was enough to go on vacation for one day.
I was surprised by how much fun my virtual vacation was.
And there is so much more to do in this strange meta world that I look forward to going back.
The big advantage is that my virtual holiday was significantly cheaper than a real one.
And it’s a quick way to get a taste of a vacation if you don’t have one yet.
But my virtual vacation actually only made me long for a real one.
Perhaps the metaverse will not replace reality after all.
You can buy Vacation Simulator from the Meta/Oculus Store for £22.99/$29.99.
- Meta Quest 2 at Best Buy for $299 – buy here
- Meta Quest 2 at Currys for £299 – buy here
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