Tonight I went to a Virtual Reality Tech MeetUp. It was very nice, and the people there were all extremely enthusiastic. Brownies were served.
Quite a few attendees had brought their Oculus Rift DK2 or GearVR (and in some cases, both), and were taking turns putting them on and showing each other the virtual worlds they had made.
All of these excited happy people, who were mostly quite young, were clearly enjoying a sense of community, of hanging out, of being together with fellow travelers.
But I couldn’t help thinking that if all of this succeeds, there may come a time when a gathering such as this will seem as quaint as a horse and buggy. Why travel to a common meeting place, when you can have a face to face conversation without ever leaving the comfort of your own home?
Most people don’t miss the horse and buggy. In fact, most people don’t think about it at all. We have long since moved on.
So I wonder about that future world where kids grow up hanging out together without ever being in the same room, where brownies are “shared” by people who are in different houses, or on different continents.
When that day arrives, will the people I met this evening feel nostalgic for the time, long gone, when they once gathered in a room, to usher in a world where nobody ever gathers in a room?