PAX Prime 2014: VR and Sudden Death

PAX Prime is the place where all things neo-culture convene: gamers, comic and anime-fans, movie fans, and technology enthusiasts. This time around, iBUYPOWER’s crew hit the show floor trying to capture all things to do with those who attend the convention.

On the demo-side of things, we’re set-up in the Intel pavilion with one of our Core i7 Extreme Edition machines wired to an Oculus Rift DK2. Without a doubt, this was one of the number one attractions on the show floor. Those who get to try it on are left with a feeling of awe and amazement, with most people exclaiming that the Rift is surely going to be a revolutionary game changer.

One gentleman came up to the demo with his friend and asked if he could try the Rift, as he had always wanted to know what it was like but never had a chance. I was more than happy to let him be transported into another place and time — but he really didn’t know what was about to come. I assisted him in putting on the Rift, a green headset and handed him the controller.

He began playing a demo game called Lucky’s Tale, a simple platformer but it was designed with VR in mind. You’re able to look around in all directions, just like you would in the real world. He seemed awe-struck. Jaws open, he moved around and I could tell his mind was blown. I approached him after I felt like he was sufficiently immersed and said to him:

“Can you walk to the edge of the cliff and look down?”

He did and responded back: “Okay. I’m here,” and looks straight down.

I placed my hand behind his back and gave him a sudden push forward. His legs trembled with fear as his body, arms, and hands attempted to stop himself from falling over into certain death and screamed.

“Oh my god!” he said as he quickly grabbed the Rift and pulled it off his head. He was breathing heavily. His friend and I were cracking up. To us it was hilarious, but to him, his mind told him that he almost fell off a cliff and died. The most interesting thing was, he wasn’t even in a realistic VR game. It was cartoonish and Crash Bandicoot like in terms of art.

This is the power of VR with true “presence” and immersion. It’s so good that you have to try and convince yourself it’s not real.

A game changer? This absolutely changes everything.


by Michael Hoang, on August 31, 2014