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A Deep Dive: The Driving Force Behind Virtual Reality? Adult Industry?

In summary

With virtual reality on the verge of becoming an everyday reality, Todd Glider speaks with Radio Sputnik to discuss how the format will change the way we interact, and how we spend our…recreation time. Is the driving force behind Virtual Reality the adult industry?

April 20, 2016

“First and foremost, [virtual reality] just gets you closer to the content, and from the consumer’s perspective, that’s an enormous, enormous advantage,” Glider, CEO of BaDoink, a VR porn site, told Radio Sputnik.

“It’s much more passionate, it’s much more intimate, it’s much more immediate.”

For Glider, the technology promises to provide an experience that typical 2D – or even 3D – films cannot provide; a way to break through the so-called fourth wall, in which the observer is separate from the action, to fully engaging in the action itself.

Pornography is driving much of the development in VR, in the same way that the porn industry played a major role in promoting home video systems in the late 1970s, and the popularity of the internet in the 1990’s.

“I joke all the time that Palmer Luckey of Oculus ought to give us a referral fee for every sale of the Oculus Rift. The fact is that at this point in the evolution of virtual reality…adult [porn] is leading the charge,” he says.

“We are the industry that has a business model, and we’re also the industry that can show the difference between 2D content and virtual reality content.”

While video games, tourism and education resources will eventually fill this role as well, the high cost of developing games capable of competing with mainstream staples like Grand Theft Auto or Call of Duty means that the porn industry is in a better place economically.

While ordinary pornography is one application, there are other benefits the technology could bring to human sexuality.

“We’re actually pursuing a self-help solution, a sex therapy solution, that will hopefully help people become better lovers. But the thing about VR is because it’s immersive, it’s an empathetic agent, so you can really, really build empathy. In terms of porn, I call it empathetic eroticism,” Glider says.

“One of the things you see a lot of startups out there now doing is they’re using VR as a self-help tool, for example, for getting over a fear of heights.”

Glider wished to discuss VR for a longer period of time, but he had to rush to a meeting with a man who claims to have developed a way to include smell in the virtual reality experience.

“I’ve got to meet with him in about 25 minutes,” he says.

“What he’s trying to do, and what everybody who’s not necessarily shooting virtual reality is trying to do, is approach ‘telepresence.’ Telepresence is the idea that you are in a virtual world and [that] you feel like you’re in one completely. And of course, that requires more than sight and sound.”


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