Valve's First VR Game: Job Simulator?

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Valve's First VR Game: Job Simulator? know, I left “World of Warcraft” when it became too much like a part-time job that no one paid me to do, so why in the world would Valve bring out its first game for its new VR system, a co-development with HTC known as the Vive, and call it “Job Simulator”? The answer might just surprise you.

“Job Simulator,” developed in part by the folks at Owlchemy Labs, has a startling premise: if you've been reading your “Forbes” or other business mags lately, you might well be familiar with the idea that robots might one day, in the grand words of “South Park”, “terk” our “jerbs”. Translated into more familiar English, that means “they took our jobs”. Hit YouTube up and you'll see a host of videos on the topic, many funny, and some taking way too much time. Anyway, after the robots terk our jerbs, we're left with essentially one option for employment: virtual reality. We manipulate objects virtually, and the game posits that the robot does it in real time. So when we play the Job Simulator, we are instructing the robot what to do from the comfort of our own home.

Sounds like a pretty good deal, really; no more commute, no rude customers, and the bathroom is only a few feet from where ever you happen to be at the time. But though this doesn't sound particularly exciting, what it does do—and quite well at that—is show off the technology. That's important; we're still in very early stages of the return of virtual reality, and for many of us, the most we've experienced in this technology is an extremely polygonal game involving pterodactyls and single-shot pistols. Seven seconds of dumping Sriracha on meat—which is all we'll get of the Job Simulator for now—may not seem like much, but this is light years ahead of where we were, and may well be the beginning of a much more immersive experience.

Still, the idea of virtual reality right now is pretty impressive. Take the various things we've seen so far—a world as immersive as Skyrim and as real as half the stuff Facebook wants to do—and couple these on to what could be. That's a lot of potential in this world, and though it will likely be a while yet before we see how it works, there's certainly more than enough opportunity to knock us all dead with this.

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