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The Oculus Rift owner’s manual has to remind users not to sit on virtual furniture

It's still real to me dammit.


AJ Dellinger


Posted on Mar 29, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 12:43 am CDT

Virtual reality is still new to a lot of people and Oculus is doing the best it can to help them adjust, including offering a handy tip to not sit on virtual objects because they aren’t real.

The retail version of the Oculus Rift, the much-awaited VR headset that got its start on Kickstarter four years ago, finally arrived on the doorsteps of anxious gamers on Monday. Because the headset provides such a drastic departure from the standard entertainment experience, Oculus included with the device a set of warning.

Of the tips—which include handy advice like “always be aware of your surroundings,” and “use only in a safe environment”—there’s also a very important reality check for those who start to mistake the virtual world for the real one.

“Remember that the objects you see in the virtual environment do not exist in the real environment, so don’t sit or stand on them or use them for support,” the warning cautions users. 

It’s good advice! Also good advice: virtual food contains no sustenance and you will die if you try to survive on that alone. Also just because you’re playing Eve: Valkyrie doesn’t mean you’re actually a fighter pilot locked into the cockpit of a futuristic spacecraft, navigating space and getting into dogfights, so please pause the game and go to the bathroom instead of whatever gross thing you’ve been doing.

You shouldn’t sit on things that aren’t there, nor should you stand on them. And if you try to use them for support, you’re going to fall down and probably break a real thing. Virtual reality is supposed to be an escape; having to make a trip to Ikea to replace the coffee table you accidentally put your foot through is a little too real.

There’s just one problem with Oculus’ attempt to keep its users from letting their worlds blend together: it follows up the advice to avoid sitting by insisting you remain seated. 

Pick a side, Oculus. Do you want us to sit or not? Stop being picky about where. If folks want to cop a squat in a make-believe La-Z-Boy then let the people live a little. Stop ruining the immersion.

H/T @AlexJamesFitz | Photo via Leonard Lin/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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*First Published: Mar 29, 2016, 5:03 pm CDT