The Best $10 I Ever Spent On Cardboard

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I know I’m a late to the Google Cardboard craze, but I did get there.

Last weekend I was at Best Buy browsing new laptops, when I distracted myself with their Virtual Reality section. That’s right. Best Buy has a VR section now. We are living in the future.

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$100 for the Google Daydream? Too rich for my blood. $40 for a brand I never heard of, with a head set that won’t fit my phone? No. Down to $15 dollar head sets, and why spend $15 when I can spend $10 instead? So, I walked to the cash register feeling like a boss with no new laptop and a new piece of cardboard instead.

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It. Is. Awesome. Within minutes I was scuba diving with sharks, taking a tour of the library of congress, exploring the arctic, and wandering through a haunted house. There is loads of free quality VR content on the google app store, not to mention the YouTube videos with VR settings.

So am I totally stocked about VR now? Not really. The frame rate on my phone still made me dizzy, and  objects in the distance were often very poorly rendered. VR still has a long way to go. If someone is running VR on a very powerful computer, I can imagine it being absolutely amazing. But on my cheap Motorola E, it is very lacking. The reason I’m not bothered by the fact that Google Cardboard has no head strap is because I haven’t been able to use VR for too long without getting dizzy or needing to rest my eyes. Maybe a higher quality phone would make all the difference. Maybe the Razer’s new gaming phone on a Google Daydream would be life changing, but I don’t have those kinds of recourses right now.

I still wholeheartedly recommend Google Cardboard. For what it is, a $10 dollar introduction to VR, it is amazing. It’s definitely more worth it than a trip to the movies. VR is something interesting and new, that most people have little experience with. The impressive thing about Google Cardboard isn’t merely what it is, but what it could be.