I JUST went on vacation to the beach AND the mountains – without leaving my house.
It turns out vacationing in the Metaverse has its perks.
For starters, I didn’t have to pack my bags, search for my passport, or rush through an airport.
I just donned the Meta Quest 2 – Mark Zuckerberg’s increasingly popular virtual reality metaverse headset.
After a few minutes I had installed and loaded a VR app called Vacation Simulator.
It’s a sequel to the wildly popular (and surprisingly hilarious) Job Simulator.
The premise is that we are in a future world where robots have replaced human jobs.
So you can use the Job Simulator to experience what it was like to work in the past – in the office, as a mechanic or in a car.
Vacation Simulator is the obvious sequel: find out how people from the past (i.e. today) spent their time when they “were not working”.
My vacation started in a hotel, where I was greeted by a floating robot that helped me find my way.
She led me to the bathroom, where I could sort my hair, trim the old beard, and do a faded blonde paint job. Cute stuff.
And then, like on a real vacation, I went straight to the hotel bed to lie down.
The bed was very spacious and comfortable – probably because I was actually laying flat on the floor on my living room carpet.
My virtual room contained a basketball, so I got up to shoot some hoops. The physics is perfect (so I was naturally a sucker), but I managed to get a few.
Tired of the sportiness of my counters, I grabbed a virtual juice from my e-fridge.
It didn’t taste like much (or anything really), but the headset gurgling sounds eerily died out.
To play games
Then I walked to the TV, put a cartridge in a console, grabbed a virtual joystick and started playing a text adventure game about the holidays.
The irony did not escape me.
I also tried another cartridge that loaded a Mario-style side-scrolling platformer.
While playing on Virtual TV, I forgot for a moment that none of this was real.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun – so who cares?
Then I realized I hadn’t left the hotel room yet. Oops!
So I went to the beach, where I lay down on the sand for a while and read a book about coconuts.
I jumped into the sea for a quick dip and even got soaked.
The audio changed and I felt immersed in the underwater world. I even caught a seashell as a souvenir.
He’s still in my virtual backpack, waiting for me in Zuckerberg’s digital realm.
I picked up a sun hat from the beach shop because I’m not quite convinced that I can’t get burned in VR.
And then I decided it was time for a change of scenery.
The fun never stops…until it happens
Next stop was Vacation Island Hill Station.
It was much colder so I wasn’t planning on staying long but managed to find a hot tub.
A robot tells me I can experience the beautiful panorama once I “collect more souvenirs” – the in-game currency – to unlock the area.
Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like working on my vacation, so I went back to the hotel and decided it was enough vacation for one day.
I was surprised how much fun my virtual vacation was.
And there’s so much more to do in this strange metaworld that I can’t wait to get back.
The big advantage is that my virtual holiday was significantly cheaper than the real one.
And it’s a quick way to get a taste of the holiday season if you don’t already have one.
But really, all my virtual vacation has done is make me desperate for more.
Perhaps the Metaverse won’t replace reality after all.
You can buy Vacation Simulator through the Meta/Oculus store for £22.99 / $29.99.
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