On the table with Wasteland Express
So, for Christmas this year, my brother surprised us with an Oculus Quest 2. If you are not familiar with Oculus it is a company (which has now been bought by Meta -Facebook) that specializes in VR (Virtual Reality) and the Quest 2 is the latest headset in the “you don’t need to be tethered to a computer” line. Typically until recently VR headsets worked by plugging into your desktop or laptop and using the headset as a monitor of sorts. The Quest is fully autonomous. It is sort of similar to those plastic housings or the Cardboard setups where you cram your phone into them and adjust the lenses as best you can. Except the quest has all the hardware built in and is much more comfortable. And while we are not a huge video game family, the Quest blew my mind a little.
I can’t help but get excited that this is the sort of thing that the future was supposed to bring. So far my favourite thing about the Oculus Quest is just sharing it with people. Showing people the tutorials and 360 videos, and game demos. I get a headache if I use it too long (but wierdly not until the next day). Normally I wear glasses but the way the lenses and the screens work with the headset My glasses don’t work and I can see clearly. It’s a miracel. Except that it is just tricking my brain really and my eyes are working harder than they should and I get the same pain I would get using a computer with out my glasses for too long. Ah well.
This is a long review of a VR headset for a board game page and I haven’t even gotten to the point.
So, what’t this all about. Well, one of the main reasons my brother sent us the Oculus to begin with is to take my dad to space. There are 360 immersive videos from the ISS and he thought it would be great to set my dad down in a chair and show him space. And we have, and Machu Pichu, and Everest and wingsuits and all sorts of things. It’s really fantastic what you can experience in VR right now.
I got to thinking, what if I get a VR camera so when our family is off at the beach or on a hike or something, instead of showing our parents pics of their grandaughter we can have them run along the beach beside her with the headset. It’s a pretty fun idea. So I bought a camera.
Then I thought, what if you can see board games from a new angle? So that’s what I am going to try and do. I am going to offer up a new perspective. You can climb on the table, shrink down like Alice and look around at some of our favourite games.
This website/podcast started off with Wasteland Express and it is still one of our favourites. It is also pretty stunning to look at with artwork by DC COmics artist Riccardo Burchielli So if you have a VR headset and visit this page click on the VR button and you can shrink down onto our table. *may take a bit of time to load it is a big file.
Unfortunately, I don’t think a lot of people have VR headsets kicking around but its a fun experiment and I am going to keep playing around with it. You can still pan around the 360 image on your phone or computer.
Insta360 One X
This is the camera I bought. I picked it up second hand (so the battery is not at its best) because I was not looking to spend $600 cdn to test something out. I did spend about $200 more than I was originally planning to but I think I hit a pretty solid middle ground at $300 cdn. It’s a pretty fun camera.