Hanging out with my VR daughter is really weird


Fated Lif

I’m sat on a bench with an Oculus Rift on my head and a pair of reins in my hands. In the virtual world, I’m on a horse drawn carriage with my wife and child. It feels uncanny to look down and see my cartoonish Viking hands also holding reins. I pull the left one and the horse gently steers. I realize I’m staring at a giant horse butt and get self conscious so I look over to my wife, then to my daughter in the back of the carriage. Now it’s really weird.

Fated: The Silent Oath is a story-driven VR game which will tell a mythical Viking survival tale with a variety of interactive sequences. The one I tried today is all horse steering, which would normally be done with a regular controller, but for PAX East the developer has set up a clever rein controller which sells the experience impressively well. The focus isn’t on difficulty (though there’s some steering around falling rocks), but on feeling like I’m in the scene, listening to my wife and daughter talk at me.

When my daughter joins me in the front of the carriage, I’m even more weirded out. The characters aren’t rendered realistically or anything, but it doesn’t matter. Looking at them speak lovingly at me is creepy. It’s like I’ve just realized everyone I know is an impostor, but have to silently nod along while ‘my’ kid and wife chat at me. Or like some stranger’s child is calling me ‘dad’ and I can’t speak to correct her, so this is just how it is now.