Facebook acquires reality and allergic reaction simulator
By Chris O'Neal 04/03/2014
Reality: who needs it? Real life has been called the worst role-playing experience in the history of role-playing games. If a major developer were to release an RPG in which your character leveled up in real time and it took exactly one year to reach a new level, that developer would go bankrupt and be run out of town. Sadly, we can’t run whatever deity or non-deity we believe in out of heaven, so we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Thankfully, Facebook has discovered a way to enliven our interaction with the real world by acquiring Oculus VR, creator of the Oculus Rift.
Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset worn by uber-nerds and developers. Users who could stand looking like dweebs for a period of time without feeling shame would be able to feel as though they were inside the world of the video game — and before Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of the device, users may have been able to do so in Minecraft. Not now, however; Notch, the creator of Minecraft, pulled his support from the system after Facebook announced its purchase.Notch wasn’t the only one. Oculus Rift began on Kickstarter as a project by a young man with a dream, and thousands of folks believed in him. With his successful campaign, Palmer Luckey promised glory to his backers. Needless to say, glory was had, and it lined his pockets after the Zuckerberg machine steamrolled the hope of independent developers everywhere. Kickstarter backers demanded a refund, which is kind of like a kid being disappointed in his popsicle after the ice cream van has long gone.
What does this mean for Facebook? Why would Facebook purchase a virtual reality machine to begin with? A lot of theories are being bounced around, but I’ve got one of my own that doesn’t involve 3-D movies, 3-D Facebook, Spotify or adult videos, but instead features goats and the film My Girl.
Goat Simulator 2014 is simply what its name implies. One becomes a goat and is given points for head-butting things. Simple enough, until you realize that your head-butt packs some serious power. In less than 10 minutes, a simple country goat can lay an entire city to waste.
Not only is it great fun to watch tankers full of gas explode after being head-butted into crowds of onlookers, but hopping on a trampoline offers seconds of fun as your goat bounces higher and higher. Score points for destruction in-game and score points for sheer absurdity in real life as your friends question your sanity.
Remember the Macaulay Culkin vehicle My Girl from the early 1990s? The one in which Culkin’s character is deathly allergic to everything? Now you can relive all of the tragedy of the original film in the 2-D game of the same name.
You play as Thomas J. (Culkin) as he navigates a weird, Southern world full of bees. The object is to avoid the bees, unlike (spoiler alert!) your film counterpart that meets his end in the forest covered in the little things.
What does this all have to do with Facebook acquiring Oculus VR? If there is a God, it means that Zuckerberg has lost his mind and will soon allow Facebook users to step into the world of Goat Simulator 2014 and My Girl: The Game, head-butting tanker trucks and avoiding bees for eternity. Otherwise, it means that Zuckerberg and Luckey have taken a promising device and turned it into another tool for the social media machine.
In other words, let’s hope a goat head-butts it into oblivion.
Chris O’Neal also remembers the film Fried Green Tomatoes. Follow him on Twitter @agentoneal.