My Life in the Metaverse: A Mom's Love Letter to Beat Saber and Virtual Reality

Friday, March 11, 2022
Believe it or not, I love the Metaverse. What is the Metaverse, you ask? I'm sure you're thinking, I want no part of this but hear me out. My VR (virtual reality) headset, the Oculus Quest 2, has become one of my favorite things ever. I play the game Beat Saber every night and I'm not ashamed to admit it. 

This post is part of an editorial section called Beyond Momma, where I share personal thoughts and stories. You can check out more of Beyond Momma here.

I won't bore you with an entire history of what the Oculus is and how it works (although I'll sum it up for you in a nutshell). You can research the entire system yourself on the Oculus site here.  The Oculus Quest 2 consists of a headset that fits over your head/eyes and two handheld controllers. There are no wires or cords (just a wire when charging). You need a Facebook account to connect. You can play games (even with friends), meditate, exercise, watch movies, even travel virtually. Everything is so real and immersive. Some of my current favorites on the Oculus:

-Beat Saber (obviously)
-Synth Riders
-Pixar Disney Coco VR experience
-LEGO Batman: Batmersive VR Experience
-Tripp (meditation)
-Supernatural (fitness)
-I also love all of the Oculus environments (which is like your starting point - it literally places you in a room, like a studio, city apartment or ski lodge)

Truth be told, I hate exercising. I hate cardio and gyms and standing in front of a machine sweating. I'd much rather take a walk or swim laps in a pool as a form of exercise. So along comes Beat Saber and I'm literally playing a game and sweating and building up my heart rate. Who knew??? 

A quick little history of how I found out about Beat Saber: my son would take classes every summer at our local Microsoft Store (oh, how I miss them!) and we were required to stay nearby while the kids were in class. So myself and another mom friend (Hi, Sel!) would play the sample Beat Saber game which was available on Microsoft's VR Reverb at the time (which was also super expensive). I loved it then but certainly couldn't afford that price tag. Flash forward what seems like an eternity and along comes the Oculus Quest 2, which is significantly more affordable than the Microsoft version was. So I decided to take the plunge (with thanks again to my cool friend Sel, who had already taken the plunge).

Ah, 2018, how I miss you!

The VR game I love to play most, Beat Saber, places you in an arena of sorts where  you're holding a colored light saber in each hand (literally). As colored blocks come near you, you have to swipe at them and strike them with your matching colored light saber. There are arrows on the blocks telling you which direction to swipe them, along with colors to match your light sabers. The game has various difficulties, speeds, obstacles (sometimes you have to crouch, move side to side or duck), and tons of different songs to choose from. 

Here's why I love Beat Saber so much. I can zone out and forget everything. If I don't focus on the blocks coming my way, I'll miss them. Simple as that. The music is awesome and some of the songs make me feel like I'm not just swiping at imaginary blocks. 'Rum n' Bass' makes me feel like a pirate wielding a cutlass, 'Country Roads' makes me feel like I'm in some kind of Game of Thrones episode with a long sword and a cape made of fur. And then - don't tell anyone- but sometimes I imagine I'm doing some Jedi training when I play (totally Ahsoka Tano-style!!! *for my non-Star Wars peeps, she fights with double sabers)

photo via Lucasfilm

There are VR enthusiasts on YouTube who even cosplay during their Beat Saber sessions. I haven't graduated to this point yet but I definitely understand why they do it! If you want to see what I mean, check out Otterworldy, Naysy, MakeUMove or SaberMomVR.

One of the things I really love about this entire VR experience is that it transforms me into something other than a mom. Of course I love being a mom, but you ladies know what I mean- sometimes that's the biggest label we have and it sure can make one feel old and uncool, especially if you have teenagers. So thank you, Beat Saber, and thank you, Oculus, for making this momma feel totally empowered and a little more magical. See you in the Metaverse.

By the way, I also joke to my husband that if there's ever a zombie apocalypse someday, perhaps all of my Beat Saber training will make me quite skilled to fend off the undead with a real katana. My Beat Saber games might very well be like the Mr. Miyagi/Daniel wax on-wax off sessions. Just sayin.

Post playlist: Angel Voices by Virtual Self, Rum n' Bass by Boom Kitty, Reason for Living by Morgan Page

Powered by Blogger.