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Virtual Reality

Discussion in 'Computers, Science & Technology' started by UberScout, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. UberScout

    UberScout Are you there, God? ...Hello? V.I.P Member

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    .....IS AN AUTISTIC DREAM!!

    Do you have any idea how awesome of a coping method this is?! I found a few free Oculus Quest games that encourage things like meditation and relaxation, I think one of them is called "Calm Extended" and I have no idea what exactly it does but it sounds like it would be great for someone like me, and maybe more autistic people if they tried it.

    Its not like no one's thought about it.
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I show this every now and then, so:



    Some of my absolute favorite programs. There's a sort of meditative nature program (the best for relaxing), Google's funky "explore the whole bloody planet" program, a "thing with orbs" (the one that is most taxing on the PC, but also the most purely impressive), a retro emulator that recreates an 80s bedroom and game consoles (there's no sound in the video for that one, I've no idea why but it wouldnt record that and I was too lazy to try to fix it) and then there's also, uh, that thing at the end. Skip to 23:50 to see VR at it's most chaotic and overwhelming.

    Also, there's this:

    arcade.jpg

    The blasted recorder refused to do this one, so I couldnt get video of it. But this program is the entire reason I bought my exceedingly pricey PC and the VR setup. An entire 80s arcade, any games I want (and I have *all* of them), there's a bowling alley and a movie theater and air hockey and other stuff. Needless to say, this 2D image cant REALLY show what it's like in there. No video can do it either. You gotta put that headset on for yourself to really see what it's like.

    Also, a 3D NES emulator thing. I hadnt played Duck Hunt in YEARS due to not having a CRT. Finally, I got to do it again. What a fun game that is...


    Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed... I go into programs like these.

    The problem: The side effects that are often mentioned are very real. See how I'm sliding forward in that nature program and such? You DO NOT want to do that when you are just starting out. I can do it because I'm fully acclimated to the whole VR experience. But try it as a newbie, and, well... yeah, you're going to regret it. Getting your "VR legs" is a bit of a process (took me about a month) and must be done very slowly and in small chunks. Anyone even thinking of trying VR needs to seriously do the research before putting that thing on.

    Whenever I'm introducing new people to this, I always start them with the Google program, as it's super easy to understand and it tends to blow their minds when they get to hover 200 feet above their own house.


    Also, VR has a lot of other applications too. Education is one. My brother is a history teacher, and when he was over last, I found a whole bunch of programs for him to try. One replicates the experience of being in a bunker during World War 1 (and isnt THAT a scary experience), and then another is a tour through the Anne Frank house. A lot of potential educational use with VR. As well as therapeutic use.

    Or you can just go in and throw boomerang lightsaber axes at robots (yes, I've one that does this). That's also an option.
     
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  3. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    I didn't think of this before. But, do they have any immersive music landscape s? Aside from Beatsaber.
     
  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Oh yes. Lots. Many of them are extremely surreal. Beatsaber is incredibly tame compared to ones that I'm familiar with. Flying through a warped, twisted, fractal, pulsating, morphing structure/landscape/something that changes in response to the music? Oh yes. It's as amazing as it sounds.

    The orb program I showed there can also react to music, though I did not show it in the video.
     
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  5. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    God I wish I could. It's too expensive. But I saw where you can go into the Colosseum! Yes, it would be very awesome!!
     
  6. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    This is incredible. I am so grateful you showed this. I did not know anything about it. I looked on Amazon and teh headset seemed to start at $429. Is that the only cost or do you pay for the programs? I am sorry if you explained this in your post. You a lot and I did not read it all.

    I am amazed at what I am seeing.

    Do you control things with your hands too? Also, it is a lot of money and I am wondering if after a few times using it, it is still as wonderful.
     
  7. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    What headset are you using and do you recommend I buiy it on Amazon?

    Sorry for the extra question but I am excited about this. I looked online and there is too much information, I an't figure it out.
     
  8. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I'm going to go into some detail here, because its important that you understand this stuff before making a purchase like that, so please read ALL of it. I know it's long, but this stuff is important for anyone considering VR.

    But before that though.... If you thought those previous games were amazing, look at this:



    Pretty crazy, huh? I wanted to show this partly because its awesome, and partly to show what "full" VR movement looks like. You dont see it in videos all that much, because a lot of users cant handle that.

    But this is what you can build yourself up to with enough exposure and patience.

    Anyway, let's answer questions, and give important info. Please read carefully.

    1. You control things with the handheld gizmos. If you look at the orb program in the previous video... or the very start of the video I just linked to in this post... you can actually see what the controllers look like. Some games/programs render them exactly as they appear, for... some reason. Other games, will give you "hands", as you can see in the others. But you can reach out, grab stuff, throw things, uh, I dunno, punch dinosaurs, whatever. I think if you try VR, you're going to find that the control is VERY easy to understand and super immersive. It is also possible in some games to simply use an actual game controller if you want (like XBox or PS5) but I never see any reason to do that.

    2. Yes, you do need to pay for the programs. They can be found either on the Oculus store, or on Steam. BUT, there ARE programs that are free, too! Google Earth for instance is totally free (and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone, it's fantastic). Some programs are found outside of those two stores, also. That 80s emulator program I showed was not only free, but downloaded elsewhere, not on either of those stores. Here's the nice thing: Most VR games/programs dont cost very much! Yeah, they look freaking amazing... but they dont cost $60 like AAA games do. So THAT is a very good thing.

    3. It doesnt really matter all that much where you buy it from. Just choose whatever store you like the most. BUT, do the research and see what the different models are like. There are more than one types of Oculus.

    4. If you're using a normal Oculus (which is what I'm using, the standard model, though mine is a little older, there are slightly upgraded ones now) your PC needs to be powerful enough to handle it. You *need* to make sure it is, before spending that kind of money. There are programs out there that can perform tests for you (I can recommend some to you if you'd like), to tell you if your machine is VR ready or not. DO NOT try to push VR onto a machine that isnt quite up to the job. Seriously, you'll regret doing that. The other option is Oculus Quest (I think is what it's called) which is a completely seperate unit, BUT, only certain programs are compatible with it... it doesnt have even remotely close to the power of a full-fledged VR-ready PC. Many of the programs I've shown cannot be used on the Quest. The other big VR option is the HTC Vive, but I know nothing about that one as I've never used it. That's an entirely different brand.

    5. Before you think of buying, look around at the different things available for it. It's very important that you find games/programs that are going to keep you coming back... you dont want this big expensive thing to just sit around and collect dust all the time! Some games/programs are sort of... short, one-time experiences. You need to find some stuff that you're going to want to come back and play/use over and over again. VR is best used frequently. I use mine all the time, I love it. But then, I made sure to find programs I would use *often* before buying. All of the things I've shown in these videos are ones I use a lot.

    6. Believe me, it's going to be incredible EVERY time. The wow factor doesnt really wear off. Not in my experience anyway. The only time when things get unpleasant is if something bugs out. But hey, that's the same with ANY game or program, eh?

    7. You. Need. To. Take. It. SLOW. Really slow. REALLY slow. I mentioned side effects, yeah? Well, I'll put it this way: If you want to avoid making yourself incredibly sick, you NEED to acclimate yourself SLOWLY to this. No spinning, no sliding movement when you're starting out. Teleporting and snap-turning ONLY. Walking around and physically turning are always fine though. Short-ish sessions (no more than 30 minutes, I'd say). And if you start to feel kinda weird... DO NOT try to just power through it. Take the headset off *immediately*. As long as you follow those rules... you will have a super pleasant experience at all times. And over time, you can slowly start to do things like slide around just a bit, try programs that are just a little more intense... eventually you'll be fully immune to all side effects as I am.

    8. Well... sort of. There IS one other side effect that is likely not going to fade as easily: I call it "Absolute Immersion". This is when your brain is sorta fooled into thinking that things you're seeing in VR are or might be real. This isnt going to hurt you or anything. But it might make you do goofy things like trying to set the controllers down on a table that doesnt actually exist. I've done that before, felt like a total doofus after doing so.

    9. You need enough space, to fully use it. Gotta have an area with no furniture to smack into. Not like, an entire room, but... the more space, the better. That way you dont smack something with your arms, or walk into a table, that sort of thing. It IS possible to use VR without much space, but it's definitely going to impede the experience, as you wont be able to walk around and there's a risk of hitting stuff.

    10. The headset isnt the only thing you need. If I recall correctly... and you'll want to check this to be sure... the headset comes with 2 sensors. You need 3 of them. 2 to go sort of in front, and one to be placed at the far back of your play area. If you only have the two front ones, the control devices will spaz out any time you're facing the wrong way. The 3rd sensor doesnt cost too much to buy.


    I think that's everything! Again, hope you read this all the way through as it really is important stuff.

    If you've got any questions whatsoever, or want some game/program recommendations, or whatever... please feel free to message me directly, and I'll do my best to answer them.
     
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  9. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to read this now. Thank you very much.
     
  10. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I just finished reading. This information is so valuable. I could not have known any of that. Especially about starting slow. I do not like feeling nausea.

    I use all Apple products, I have a MacBook Pro with the new M chip. From what I understand, I cannot use the Occulus system with it. You mentioned HTC Vive. That is what was recommended to use with a Mac but I want to be able to do everything you did, except the 1980s room. Google Earth was the experience that made me so excited and happy. There are so many places I want to go. I am very uncomfortable being out in public so it might let me go places virtually and that would be amazing.

    I want the experiences you had so I would like to understand what I would need to do that. If I can use HTC Vive and do much of what you did, I think it would be better for me financially.

    If I would need to get a special PC to do this, would you tell me what that would be so I can see what the cost would be? If I need to buy a dedicated PC and the Occulus system it might be too difficult financially but if it is important enough to me I might find a way because this is the kind of thing I have always used my imagination to do but this would be almost real.

    I understand from what you said you do not know about HTC Vive but if I know the cost to do it with a PC and maybe some advice from you on how I can learn about using a Mac and HTC Vive, I think that would be everything I need to know.

    This is a lot of work for you. That you are taking the time and so much effort to have helped me learn more I deeply appreciate but if you need to me to do the rest myself I will understand.
     
  11. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to mention something that seems important: I use a wheelchair. I can stand and walk but I could not do it for a long time while used VR. I thought I could use an Occulus while sitting, what do you think?
     
  12. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Well, there's a couple of elements to the PC question.

    Here's the huge one: Things like what I've shown here are extremely uncommon on Mac. Thanks to Microsoft, 99% of gaming and similar things are Windows only. Most devs dont even CONSIDER putting things on Mac, because it's a ton of effort for next to no benefit... they just dont have the resources to do it. Or the desire, or a way to even test it (as most devs dont have Macs themselves). Which also means that Macs in general typically arent exactly built for gaming, or graphically intensive programs. Typically, most Macs are essentially business machines, if that makes sense.

    Now, here's the other aspect of it: It might not be as crazy expensive as you think, to get a PC that can do it. Understand, a hyper-expensive PC like what I use is not an absolute necessity for this; I did that simply because I could. I had the resources to do it and I knew full well I'd be using the thing *frequently*, so... yeah, that's what I did. Gaming... and thus, graphically intensive programs... well, the accessibility of them has changed a whole bunch in the last couple of decades. Once upon a time, you needed to really shell out the big money to get a PC that could handle gaming. But now? Nah. Tech has advanced enough to make it so that you can get a machine capable of Doing Things without having to pay out the nose to make it happen.

    However: I, myself, am *terrible* with hardware. I'm talking like, "cant even install a RAM stick without breaking the entire machine" sort of terrible. My PCs are typically specifically built or chosen... by the tech guys at the local Fry's who know this stuff. I tell them what I want, what I'll be using it for, the sorts of programs it'll be running, and they make all the selections and I typically just roll with it. So... yeah, you dont want me trying to point you at specific tech bits. Instead, I'd strongly suggest heading over to the Oculus Reddit, and asking there. There are plenty of tech-oriented people who know all the right stuff. Simply tell them what your budget range is and that you want to get a PC that can do all the cool VR stuff, and they'll not only help you figure out WHAT you need, but also WHERE the best place is to get it from. Simply be very detailed with your questions, and dont be afraid to question further if you get an answer you dont understand. If for whatever reason that Reddit section doesnt help, I can always give you alternatives. But for now, I think that's the best place to go.

    The things *I* can help with are software issues, but of course, that's of no use to you until you already have the device. I am willing to assist with that though, whenever you might have the setup ready. There are certain specific games/programs that do require a bit of extra setup to function and can be a little confusing. I'm good at dealing with that sort of thing. I can also offer suggestions and such for new games/programs/whatever, based on your interests and stuff you already like. Again though, that's once you have it. But feel free to message me at any time.

    Aha, I actually do have a solution for this.

    Well, there's two aspects:

    1. Some games/whatever work just fine from a sitting position to begin with. That crazy neon thing I showed? Zooming all over the place and shooting monsters and all that? I sit in my spinning desk chair the whole time. But even the spinning of the chair isnt REALLY necessary, I just like to do it when turning. It's the same for the 80s program, I always sit for that. Google Earth and the nature thing, totally fine for sitting at all times.

    2. But, some things wont quite work. At least, not without doing something. Did you see that picture of the arcade program I showed in my initial post? You cant do that while sitting in the default manner... the machines are too tall! But, there's a trick to it: You can simply change your height, setting it such that the program in question thinks you're fully standing up. Essentially, dragging the entire world lower, to meet your sitting height. This solution is not 100% perfect: If you drop some virtual object on the floor or something and want to pick it up, you wont be able to reach all the way down to grab it, since you're effectively "floating" above the floor. After all, you cant reach your real hands down through your ACTUAL floor, yeah? For some programs this is not at all an issue (No Man's Sky for instance, you dont really pick things up but instead interact with them by pointing that beam thing, so you dont need to reach down to the floor to do things) but others it can be more than a bit annoying. But not all that often. How to do it is something I can explain to you when the time comes. Not actually hard.


    Anyway, there's a couple of other things that you might want to see, which can give you more of an idea of some stuff you can do in VR and how it works.

    First:



    This one shows off a common feature of VR programs, which is a "comfort mode". These exist to reduce the chances of side effects on newer users. In this video I'll show off normal movement, as you've seen before, and then switch the comfort thing on, and you can see what it does. The effect it produces prevents dizziness. LOTS of programs have all sorts of comfort options. It's important to know what options a program has before buying/downloading it.



    Do you like art? Drawing, painting? Then you might LOVE this. This is Tilt Brush. It's another one by Google, and it's free! It's also bloody amazing! Just... just watch it. You'll get the idea. It is far from the only art program out there, too. There are others that are about creating 3D objects, or sculpting things, or all sorts of stuff. This program is one that I use if I wanna really show off the sheer POTENTIAL of what VR can do.



    If you have a Steam account, you can access this. This is the central VR hub in Steam. The area I start in is my own customizable room. But from there, I show off some of the many, MANY user created environments that I have downloaded. Some places are actually created using photogrammetry (like that snowy place), while others are created through traditional 3D modelling. There's all sorts of stuff that can be done here. I do apologize for the bit with the Mario stairs, I got frustrated trying to go up them and was stubborn about it. Still, lots of cool stuff shown here. I could spend HOURS showing off things I've found in this. Google Earth sure aint the only way to explore interesting places.



    Lastly, this is the arcade program I've mentioned before. I finally got the blasted thing to record it.... without sound. Bah. But the reason I'm showing this, is because it lets me show off a lot of common interactions that are found in VR; teleporting, picking up and throwing objects, activating things, and other stuff. I also show a couple of the games but they dont work quite right while the recording software is running.


    Hope some of that helps, or gives you some ideas as to stuff you might want to look into!

    Nah, it's not any trouble. I have nothing but free time all the time. And this IS one of my special interests. So I enjoy showing it off to people. And I really do think this tech could be very beneficial for many who are on the spectrum.

    Besides, the things are fun to mess with while I'm doing the recording.

    If there's any other questions you should have, feel free to ask! This is an enjoyable topic for me.
     
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  13. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I am reading and re-reading your instructions. There is a lot of information so I think it will take me a little bit to understand well enough to ask intelligent and not already answered questions.

    Before that there are a couple of things I would explain. I am not tech savvy. I do not understand computers very well. I get lost in the nomenclature, brand and device names, versions etcetera. I do not know what Steam is.

    The other things is you are saying something on Reddit will help. I am not sure what Reddit is but I think it is a place where people post like we do here but in this case it would be regular people and on the specific topic of Occulus. I think the information there would be the best but I cannot talk to regular people. I do not know when they are joking and then people make fun of me or they something very cruel but in context it is something not meant to be as cruel as it seems and is acceptable in the group. I have tried but cannot manage that. One person on Youtube said, "Your mother should die in a car accident." That changed me forever, I do not look at the internet the same way now.

    If it is okay with you I would like to ask you questions about Occulus and VR. I want to speak to someone at the company but I cannot figure out if that is possible. It seems like they want me to do something on Facebook for a demonstration. I would just like to tell them what I want to do and for them to tell me what I need to buy to do it.

    If it becomes tedious working with me on this, I will understand if you need to move on. You can be direct with me like saying, "I do not want to keep talking with you about this." I will take as fact and not be upset.

    What is on my mind is learning if I can use Mac, but maybe if I only want to use Google Earth it might be possible.

    If I get a gaming PC. I need a link to one to buy or someone to spec one for me so I can find it.

    I am going back to read carefully again what you've explained.

    Thank you
     
  14. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I deleted some post because I had written so many.

    Doing research this morning I have found that the image on the PC is the only one I would want. The stand-alone is like a computer generated image, the PC connected is like what you have and what I want.

    I need to figure out which PC I need. I am thinking of talking with NewEgg.

    ** using the Oculus Ready PC list I found most of the PCs are not available. I spoke with Dell and CSR recommended: Dell G3 15 Inch Gaming Laptop with Game Shift technology | Dell USA
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2021
  15. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    The Quest is the one I'd mentioned before that wont work with a lot of the software I've shown, or a lot of it in general (particularly anything downloaded from outside of Oculus's store itself, as almost everything I've shown was). It's sort of... a gimmick, at best. You're effectively trying to mash a PC *into* a headset, and have it not cost very much, and, well.... you get what you pay for.

    The wires wont cause you as much trouble as you might think. Firstly, if you're sitting in a wheelchair, you're probably not going to be spinning/moving much, if at all. Wheelchairs arent meant for that sort of wild movement, after all! Particularly when you cant see the world around you due to having the headset on. So, you'll be stationary, using the in-game controls to move around the virtual world instead of walking yourself around. The wire wont get caught up in anything because it wont be able to.

    Even when you're standing and walking, the wire doesnt cause issues unless you're spinning around a bunch (at which point it might get in your face). Just sitting in one spot? It wont cause you any problems, I guarantee it.

    Now, as for that PC, hmm. To be honest, I'd avoid laptops if at all possible. A proper tower PC is definitely best, for a few too many reasons to list. I aint very good with hardware, but I do know that at least. Gaming + laptop usually doesnt = good. I've used a ton of gaming laptops before, and not even one of them has ever worked right. Gaming PCs are usually big blocky things.... trying to smash that down into a flat space has about the result you'd expect. Not to mention that a laptop that has X amount of power to it (in an overall sense) will cost quite a bit more than a PC tower that has the same amount of power to it.

    Dont get me wrong: It's doable. It is. There are absolutely people out there that use gaming laptops with full VR. Just, my personal recommendation, is that a tower is better.

    Yep. The Quest is... think of it as the portable option. Or the very casual option. It's not something that someone who is really into VR would ever actually use. It's not going to be very powerful, because it *cant* be. You cant fit a powerhouse PC inside that headset!

    Though, there's 2 other things to keep in mind here:

    1. That video? Google Earth uses Google's overall world map data to create the landscapes you see. If their roving truck things didnt catch an area quite right (for instance there's a forest road somewhat close to my house where they CLEARLY never drove down, but then again, nobody else ever drives down that road either) that area will render weird in the program because they dont have capture data for it. Also if their server is acting up the program will act a bit odd. Also trees usually look at least a little blobby (you can see that in my videos too).

    2. I'm using a mega-PC, for lack of a better term. This thing was built without a budget limit. It can do anything. Most PCs dont come near that level of power. But that's fine! You dont need that kind of power. Remember, these are PC games/programs. You have graphics options. The biggest advantage for me is that I never have to tweak those; I can leave them maxed. But most games/programs (well, any that werent made by an idiot) will have a lot of graphics options you can tweak, till you get it running just right while looking as good as it can. They wont look absolutely 100% perfect, but... believe me, you wont notice that so much. And it depends VERY heavily on the program. That wild neon thing I showed? That'll look exactly the same even on a weaker PC, even despite how crazy it is! That arcade program though, some of the graphical effects would change on a weaker machine (for instance, the light reflections wouldnt look as good). Doesnt mean it wont still look great: just might not look AS great. It's hard to explain WHY one is more affected by the machine's power than the other... dont worry about that. But yes, it's still going to look pretty freaking amazing. Believe me, the videos dont do it justice.

    That's no problem, just ask about whatever you might be confused about.

    If you dont know what Steam is, it is this:

    Steam Store

    It's the main gaming store thing for PC. As a PC gamer myself, this is where I buy almost all of my games (and plenty of non-game programs) from. This, combined with the Oculus store itself, is where all those programs come from. Steam is super easy to set up and use. Best part is, it tends to be super cheap. Steam is very well known for their extreme sales (which are also extremely frequent). It's not uncommon to go to buy something and find it's on sale for like a ridiculous 80% off for no reason. Good place to buy from.

    Totally fine by me! Would you like to do this via direct messages? Might work a little easier than this forum topic. Either way works for me. Also, for the Reddit thing you mentioned, yeah, I understand the trepidation in dealing with that. I might be able to help a bit with that part.

    Haha, it's fine, seriously. Like I said, this is a special interest of mine. I often rant about it (or show videos) without provocation anyway. Much better to talk about it when someone is actually interested.

    On a side note... like I said before, Google Earth is just one of many programs that are about exploring places... do you want to see a couple more? It takes no real effort for me to put those little videos together to show this stuff. I'd be happy to show a bit more, if you want to see.
     
  16. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    I have spent all day reading your messages to me and doing research online. I am a bit overwhelmed but I am very interested in having VR like you have.

    A tower PC is fine. I want to do what you have shown so I want to understand what I need to do that. It is straightforward for me, start with my goal and work backwards.

    Can you recommend a PC tower or tell me how to choose one? This process is only successful for me if I can do what I saw you do in your videos.
     
  17. grommet

    grommet Well-Known Member

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    +1,593