Before I took the first step, I heard the wind whipping around my legs and swore I felt just a bit colder. Suddenly, for only a moment, I felt my legs weaken. With a deep breath of determination, I inched forward across the ridge, heel to toe, and struggled to stay rooted in reality. At one point I even held my arms out for balance, despite actually walking on the perfectly stable carpeted 3rd floor of the Moscone Center.
“This icy ridge isn’t here. This isn’t Class 5 exposure. It’s just carpet! This sheer cliff 4 inches from my shoes is imaginary. I’m not alone at 25,000 feet. 12 feet away a bunch of GDC attendees are watching me. Right?”
The combination of realistic audio, insanely photo-realistic graphics courtesy of Unreal Engine 4 and some of Nvidia’s VR Works wizardry, the tactility of the HTC Vive’s touch controllers and its accurate room presence, had convinced it of this alternate reality. A reality where I was legitimately terrified.