I’m not sure if I understood your point completely, but one thing I believe is that price is definitely not the biggest issue when making some technology happen.

We had computers that had the space of a room and that was an item limited to the army and universities, then we got personal computers and now we put them inside our pockets for a really lower price compared to the first models. At the same time, in Kenya, 80% of the population has a mobile phone though they barely have access to electricity (in 2012, only 23% had).

In other words, as technology evolves, prices tend to go down, especially when you have companies interested in working on and selling such things: and that’s what we have right now, with big names like Facebook, Google, HTC, Sony and so forth.

We are climbing the first steps of virtual reality, so of course it’s expensive and imperfect. But at least we have phone holders for $15 (Google Cardboard) that allow more people to have a taste of what’s VR.

That being said, I think your idea of seeing VR only as a gaming device is a bit narrow. Virtual reality has broader uses like in medicine, psychiatry, education, military and training or even social experiments (like that one in which they could see themselves as if in the body of the opposite sex).

Maybe now it’s still a time when the best in virtual reality sets are only accessible to universities and companies (or richer people), but I believe that this is just the first step. After 20~30 years of silence in mainstream media and tech business, virtual reality is back and there’re many people working to make it happen for real, so I’d rather wait a bit more than complain about the price I can’t pay now, but maybe later.

Also, my personal point of view about virtual reality is lesser about seeing it as a consumer good and more as an innovation for the common good. I myself only have a phone holder VR headset and that’s completely fine. Of course I want to have an actual VR set (and I’m looking forward to having a PS4 and their new headset), but it’s just a matter of facing technology less as a product to acquire and more as a knowledge to be refined and shared.

Written by

Brazilian journalist, MA in Semiotics and PhD candidate in Visual Arts. Head of innovation and futurism at UP Lab. Cyberpunk enthusiast and researcher.

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