The Reluctant Townie | Pitching virtual-reality apps for Oculus Go

The Reluctant Townie | Pitching virtual-reality apps for Oculus Go

In May, premiere virtual-reality company — and $2.3 billion Facebook acquisition — Oculus VR released its game-changing virtual-reality headset Oculus Go.

Oculus Go is the first dedicated VR headset to not require the user be tethered to a computer (like the Go's older brother Oculus Rift), or a top-of-the-line smartphone (like the Samsung Gear), while still delivering a crystal-clear, high-definition VR experience. Priced at $200, the Oculus Go is positioned to bring high-end, no-hassle virtual reality to the masses.

When the Go launched this spring, the system boasted a library of more than 1,000 downloadable games and apps, from Netflix to Hulu to Settlers of Catan, many previously developed for the Oculus Rift or Google Cardboard platforms.

Among these apps and games are an endless amount of first-person zombie shooters and roller coaster simulators, but while the medium is still in its infancy, I see great potential for the future of VR entertainment.

Here are a few apps I would pitch to Oculus developers:

VIRTUAL THRONE: In this media-friendly app, users would find themselves seated on a virtual toilet in a virtual bathroom, with a virtual cellphone they could use to scroll through news and social media websites at their leisure. Pair with headphones for complete immersion, as your virtual children pound on the door while yelling for you to help them complete tasks they are fully capable of handling themselves. So realistic, you might need a change of clothes.

ROADHOUSE: BAR PUNCHER: In this licensed bar fighting simulator, users enter the world of the 1989 Patrick Swayze film "Road House," taking on the role of a new bouncer at the troubled road house bar the Double Deuce. Utilize your fists, your brawn and environmental elements such as pool cues, pint glasses and the bar top surface to knock the teeth out of, and the sense into, a nonstop wave of rowdy drunks. They might be too stupid to have a good time, but you're not. Set the smoky roots rock of the Jeff Healy Band, "Road House: Bar Puncher" will ask you to be nice ... until it's time to not be nice.

ALTERNATE REALITY 2016: In this app, users would be thrust into a world where the 2016 election went to Hillary Clinton. Slip into an alternate reality where the president of the United States isn't determined to undermine the postwar Western alliance or the American free press. Enjoy the forgotten comforts of taking your unexciting, business-as-usual government for granted. You'll wish you could never leave. Really.

TINDER VR: In this virtual port of the popular hookup app, swipe right for instantaneous virtual dates with singles (or pretending-to-be-singles) in your geographical area. Using the Oculus Go's onboard microphone, communicate with potential paramours in safe, public virtual environments, to explore interpersonal chemistry before ultimately deciding it'd be easier to stay in, order a pizza and spend some quality time with your Pornhub subscription.

FIRE YOUR BOSS: In this highly customizable role playing game, photorealistic office environments and character models can be used to construct a virtual replica of your real-life place of business, down to the smallest detail of the re-heated spaghetti stains in the employee microwave or the stupid look on your real life boss's face. Savor that stupid look again and again as you devise an endless combination of creative and satisfying ways to quit your job, and finally tell your boss what you really think of him. Your imagination is the limit.

GOLF CART VR: In this sports-related title, pilot a golf cart around meticulously re-created versions of the most famous golf courses on the planet. Day drink without the shame of your business partners or clients. Not to be confused with a golfing simulator, Golf Cart VR isolates the best part of playing golf — getting drunk and driving your golf cart into a sand trap.

VIRTUAL MANHOLE: Not to be confused with the popular adult's only title, this immersive, 360-degree experience would force users to confront their fear of death head on, as they tumbled down an uncovered manhole to an unexpected, and excruciatingly painful death. Further updates will include falling anvils and alligators in the sewer. For extreme thrill seekers only.

RED BUBBLE VS. BLUE BUBBLE: This important and timely VR simulator allows you to get into fights about politics on your virtual Facebook page. Troll, flame and condescend to your heart's content. Stare into the virtual abyss and let it stare back into you. And when you're done battling trolls and vanquishing keyboard warriors, remove your VR headset and return to the real world, where you haven't actually alienated your family, friends and future employers.

BRAINSCAN BY CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: In this VR app developed by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, the Oculus VR uses a reverse scan of your retinas and a patented algorithm to download the entire contents of your brain and store it as an easily-referenced master file in the cloud. The data will be available only to the most secure, highest-paying clients and foreign governments, who will use your deepest darkest secrets to craft a personalized ad campaign you simply cannot ignore.

Ryan Jackson recently watched "Ready Player One" on the Oculus Go in a virtual theater with a virtual audience, and meta'd himself out of existence. He can be reached at thereluctanttownie@hotmail.com or at his Oculus Places residence, which he shares with three Facebook profile pics and a virtual chess board.

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