John Carmack says the Oculus Rift is like "getting religion"

John Carmack and the Oculus Rift

It's not quite as catchy as promising to make you his bitch, but Oculus VR CTO John Carmack says big things are in store for people who try the Oculus Rift VR headset for the first time. In an interview with Fortune, the former id Software mastermind said that using Oculus technology is akin to a religious experience.

"Oculus really started popularizing a new approach using cellphone screen technology, a wide field of view, and super-low-latency sensor tracking. It’s not crappy stuff that doesn’t work and makes everybody sick," Carmack said, comparing previous virtual reality efforts to the Oculus Rift. "When you experience Oculus technology, it’s like getting religion on contact. People that try it walk out a believer."

Somewhat less hyperbolically, he also reiterated comments made by EVE: Valkyrie Producer Owen O'Brien earlier this year that, despite early expectations, the best Oculus Rift experiences aren't actually first-person shooters. "Comfortable VR experiences had to be these seated cockpit games and you’re diverging from that at your own risk," he said. "The great games are the space sims and driving sims and these experiences where you’re basically sitting at a table with nothing happening in front of you."

"Simulator sickness" notwithstanding, Oculus VR clearly isn't giving up on first-person experiences. Earlier this month, it acquired Nimble VR, a startup company developing low-latency hand-tracking technology using 3D cameras.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.