Virtual Reality or VR as it is called is the latest on the technology scene. When I started typing on an electric typewriter that day, I thought I had stepped into advanced technology. My typing class in high school used manual typewriters. You know that the keys need a really good stroke to get the letters to print on the paper. Then came the IBM “Rectifying Selectric”. A typist who can only fix the mistakes by going back. Wow! At the same time, computers emerged for complex calculations in the banking industry, and yes, word processors. The world is ablaze with new technology that has begun to transform the day-to-day business world.
The next technological advancement is a phone that doesn’t need to be tied to a cord. You can pick up the phone and walk away talking. Smart! Before I knew it, it was a car phone for ordinary people. Remember when people bought fake phones to look good? Then, in the early 1970s, Motorola was the first company to mass-produce the first handheld cell phone. As I recall, they had a small antenna, and you couldn’t get much service, but you were keeping up with new technologies.
I’m finally settled on my smartphone, which is untethered and has “apps” to take pictures, give directions, track my steps, connect me to the internet, and do whatever else I want. Desire. Do you want music? What about games? You can watch, stream or listen. What’s not to love? Well, that’s it. My phone is smarter than me. Almost every day I find something on my phone that I didn’t know before. All those settings! All those buttons! It’s a little scary.
Enter VR! It’s VR. He pretended. An experience that can be similar to, or completely different from In the real world. Some days this can seem like something we could all use as an escape mechanism. VR requires a headset—expensive, by the way—and works by immersing you in a “virtual” setting. Virtual reality applications include entertainment with games, education (such as medical or military training), and businesses such as virtual meetings.
VR is big business in all kinds of gaming, and it takes you into a setting where you use virtual reality. Well, here comes the latest in this VR business world. Meta (formerly Facebook) launches Avatar Fashion Store to sell virtual clothes for real money. Yes, that’s what I said—virtual “clothes” for real money! So, your avatar can be decked out in a fashion collection or something casual, you know, that you can’t touch or wear for your online virtual reality game.
Should you decide to buy clothes for your avatar this way, I suggest you consider a scholarship for our little dog Carly. I think she wants to go to college to continue her education. She is very talented and has learned many things so I am sure she will benefit from your kindness. I will ask her what her degree program will be and let you know. She is a very good speaker. She communicates information with her tail wag, her big brown eyes, and the occasional growl or bark.
If you want to do something more meaningful, you can contribute to our local United Way, local school systems, or Interfaith Compassionate Services, or another meaningful organization. Of course, this might mean that your avatar isn’t decked out in the new style, but who knows? Apologies to those who have a better appreciation for this new technology and well-dressed avatars.
Bonnie Brown writes a weekly column for the Oxford Eagle. her in firstname.lastname@example.org.