Sunday, 8 November 2020

A VR Sunday

Day 235... shopping update day! Which took way longer than it should have done. Their system was being slow, it kept logging me out and then when I could get on it was showing items in duplicate or triplet. Then to add insult to injury it wouldn't let me 'check-out' - argh!

I then tried refreshing the page, logging out and back in again and ultimately a hard re-boot of my laptop but with no avail. As a final resort I decided to download their app onto my phone and see if that would make any difference. Thankfully once I logged onto the app I could see my 'shopping basket' had got all the items I'd added online and it allowed me to complete the 'check-out' process - phew!

My next job of the day was to renew both mine and Simon's passports online and I was expecting it to be a lengthy process but in actual fact it was a breeze. Nice and simple, straight forward questions to complete, photos uploaded successfully and all paid for in about a quarter of the time it took me to complete the grocery shop!

While I'd been messing about online Simon had been able to complete an art commission based around the Scott Pilgrim comics for someone in the US. The great thing is Simon can produce art digitally for anyone, anywhere. He provides the client with progress updates from the initial concept through to completion and then once everyone is happy the images are whooshed across the internet. The final result was really cool and I'm sure he will share across his social medias at the appropriate time.

As both my online work and Simon's all finished at the same time we decided another autumnal walk was in order. A much damper and mistier day today, although not too cold, but we enjoyed a 4 mile walk in about and hour and a quarter. 

Warmed with coffee I did a little online perusing at various Disney Christmas bits and pieces that I have spotted online...I now have quite a few tabs open...just got to decide what to go for and whether I really should or not! 

Simon then introduced me to VR via the Oculus Quest 2. I will admit to be being reluctant to try this as I don't see it as something that I am naturally drawn to. I can understand anyone who plays video games wanting to use this bit of tech to get another, more immersive, game play experience but for me...not so much. My extent of 'gaming' is playing daft little puzzle games on my phone for 15 or 20 minutes at a time.

So this afternoon I gave it a go...I tried, honest I did but I really struggled to adapt to it and to understand why I would want to use the system. It's not something I'm going to use when I have some free time...I rarely find the time to sit and watch TV never mind opt for playing a I know I would need help each time using it.

While I have no problem with any new tech, and applaud all those very clever people out there who can produce things like this that will have applications far beyond playing daft games, I struggle to see why I would want to use it. What would be the point? What benefit would it be to me? And because of that I will admit that I have already put barriers in the way of me using it in the future. I don't indulge in enough 'me time' as it is so why would I want to use this to fill that time?

I struggled a little with the interface as once I could see my 'VR hands' I wanted to use my hands as normal but instead had to remember the various holds and button presses but I couldn't quite match up the instinct with the actual actions needed. Ethan pointed out to me later that for anyone who is used to playing games with a controller it's a lot easier to marry the actions together and so I guess that's where I fell foul, which then meant I started to lose interest as I felt like I was failing at what everyone else has seemed to just do instinctively.

But I had a go. Simon was very keen to show me some VR video via YouTube as he had found some pieces of video showing various bits of Disney parks and attractions. So after working my way through the tutorial aspect of VR I stepped into a video from the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World of a castle stage show, I think called Royal Friendship Faire. The video was a 180 degree video and so the perspective was as if I was stood in front of the castle stage, watching the show and I could look left and right and see some of the audience either side of me as well as look up to the top of the castle. Well, I think it was standing in front of the castle that got me and I could feel the tears welling up. It has been so long since I have stood in front of that castle and this year was the first year in a long time that we were in a position to visit...but as we know the world we live in has put a stop to things like that. I had to stop watching it before I became a blubbering mess!

I am sure that I will delve back into the whole VR thing at some point, perhaps when I have more pockets of time. I think knowing that I can dip in and experience bits of Disney or video of locations across the world will be enough for me and I will leave the hardcore gaming aspect to the rest of the family.

The day was rounded out with our now regular Disney Dream Girls podcast Sunday Disney quiz, which this week saw some questions based around yesterday's movie of choice, Coco. I didn't do too bad on that section of the quiz but wasn't so great on the non-Coco questions! But the result doesn't matter as it is just great to log on, chat, have a giggle and have some fun. Research for next week is the movie The Emperor's New Groove which I love but have not seen for a fair few years, so I think I know what I'll be watching this week!

Take care out there.

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