Originally, the Oculus and co-driven virtual reality technology should revolutionize the gaming world. But first, the fantasy fulfillment engine inspires the porn world. A field trial.
What were we all naive at the beginning of the virtual reality wave two years ago? In fact, everyone, including Oculus VR, the founders of the hype, firmly believed that, of course, it will be the gamers who make VR a breakthrough. Ego shooter, simulations – all totally great with a feeling of being in the middle.
Nope. It did not take long for even the most ardent VR advocates to realize that the common game concepts do not work in virtual reality, at least not with current input devices. A classic first person shooter with WASD control, such as Team Fortress 2 (one of the first titles with Oculus support), is something that only very few people with VR glasses can play for more than a few minutes – and then they feel sick. When the sense of balance says “I’m sitting at your desk,” but the other senses are convinced to run through a fortress with a machine gun, after the chaos in the brain, the hassle comes in the stomach. No matter how good the technology is.
The VR developer community has understood this pretty quickly – and started to build a completely new form of electronic entertainment instead of classic games: so-called experiences, which one does not actively “play”, but simply “experienced”. Among the most popular of these truly mesmerizing experiences are titles such as Titans of Space (hovering in space and gazing at planets) and Sightline – the Chair (virtual LSD trip). In the future, there will also be “real” games that benefit from VR; the incredibly immersive Elite Dangerous gives you a taste of what awaits us.
Erotic Phantasies Instead Of Games
What works well now is what fantasy fulfillment machines are predestined for: porn. In the dark corners of the Internet you can now find several programs in which you can mate computer-generated characters – most of them are uncomfortably young-looking manga cartoonists, but there are also titles with ripped computer program figures like Elizabeth from BioShock Infinite. Sites like http://www.psvrporn.com/ offer vr porn for specific headsets.
Technically, most of these homebrew titles are extremely brutally implemented: Somewhere lie, stand or sit around sexually receptive draped 3D figures that move genre-typical. Especially strange in this respect is the program Sex Room: In a small room there are four anime characters in different positions, who constantly perform coitus movements – no matter whether one approaches them or not. If you go too close, there are the notorious clipping errors from many 3D games and you can see the hollow polygon figures from the inside – rather horror than eroticism. While most of these sex simulators thrive in the underground, there are also first commercial animated graphics sex simulators with Oculus Rift support such as Playgirls from the Japanese company Illusions or the station district Second Life clone Red Light Center of the Canadian company Utherverse Digital.
The exploitation of erotic fantasies in virtual reality began much more playful and harmless: For example, the title Sleeping on Unity Chan’s Lap of the Japanese developer Up-frontier has a droll effect: A fully clothed anime character sits on a park bench (the eponymous Unity figure). Chan), on whose lap you can lie down – that’s it. Slightly irritating: In the PR video for the title, the creators demonstrate their program together with a replica of a woman’s lap made of polyester and padding; including thigh stumps.
The likewise Japanese title Dogelus 2 is just as pornographic, but tends more towards fetish. If you put on the VR glasses, you find yourself in a pretty cartoon world again. If you turn your head a bit, you will eventually see a female anime character approaching you – which is about the size of a skyscraper. The grand finale: The giant lady raises her foot and steps on the viewer.
How intensively the interaction with artificial figures in the virtual reality can be felt is shown by an even more harmless title: In Mikulus DK2, a cyborg half-human model modeled on the pop manga character Hatsune Miku simply stands in a completely black room. With the gamepad, you can approach the character – and although it is clearly an artificial, computer-designed being, you feel a discomfort, if you go too close: a real, strange people, you would never be so close to the Pelle move. And so you instinctively keep safe distance. Apparently, the illusion is so good that the brain wants to maintain the personal comfort zone in the virtual world.
Sure, it did not take long for Virtual Reality to arrive in the classic video porno industry – after all, animation-graphic sex outside of Japan is more of a niche topic. The leader in VR real movie porn – and probably one of the very few companies that already makes money with pure VR content – is the Spanish production company VirtualRealPorn. Founded in the fall of 2013 by software developers and photographers, the company sells filmed 180-degree spatial hardcore videos from a female and male first-person perspective. The content is not only prepared for Oculus VR goggles, but also for Samsung’s Gear VR headset and Google Cardboard’s narrow-track smartphone VR technology.
The technically well-made Virtual Real Porn videos create a strangely authentic mid-feel: Lower your head, you see his “own” porn actor body – irritating are not only the many tattoos, but also that depending on the selected video a different gender has. All this looks really real, but then again not – reverse phantom pain, so to speak. While in phantom pain you feel body parts that you can not see; you can see body parts in VR porn that you do not feel. VRP’s best movies for Gear VR are presented on GearVRporn.net.
The initially described physical comfort zone is also uncomfortable in Virtual RealPorn movies. At the latest when the protagonist inches away from your own face unasked whispered dirty talk chatter in the ear, you instinctively want to tear the glasses off your face – an effect that I could prove multiple times in field trials with various subjects.
While VR porn is slowly emerging on the radar of mainstream media, you can always hear the old truism of the new techniques that are only made successful by the porn industry: for example, VHS, CD-ROM and streaming video. Whether that also applies to Virtual Reality, has yet to show. Surely many people will have bought VR glasses with the prospect of lifelike pornography. But whether they become happy with it is another matter.
Do You Want That?
Just as classic game concepts can not be transferred to virtual reality, so does VR porn reception work differently than conventional ones. When viewing sexual content on paper, TV or computer screen, you assume a completely passive position: what you see is in no way connected to the here and now. Quite different with VR: Here you do not look from the outside, but from the inside – you are part of the scenery.
If a porn actor looks into the camera, you might feel like you’re meant to be part of conventional media, but you also know that there’s an unbridgeable barrier between me and the actor. If somebody looks me in the VR, the synapses say: “This is just a reality.”
This extreme increase in intensity and immersion changes the mode of porn consumption totally – and goes much more towards “real sex including emotional effort” than dull “sex watching”. Better VR technology will increase this contrast even more; The peripheral industry is also working on VR content-synchronized body extremities and vents – “Teledildonics” is the pretty term for it.
The VR Porn Pandora’s box will not close, so it’s probably only a matter of time until the columnists proclaim the post-sex era – and the moralists scourge cybersex and lament the reluctance to reproduce , Presumably, with the advancing quality of VR technology, there will actually be a few people who prefer pixels to meat. But that does not change anything in the deeply rooted yearning for human closeness. Virtual reality is an exciting destination; however, it will never be a place to live.