I started building this reading list to help me figure out what people were really asking me. The more questions about VR I fielded, the more it seemed as though there was a deeper concern they were voicing: “What is my place in this epic myth of VR?” After all, those aforementioned partygoers pressing some guy who drives a 2003 Honda Civic to provide definitive answers about a multibillion-dollar industry never seem to ask about any tangible aspects of VR. The questioners ask for divination, they ask to provide parallax astrology of the mythical constellations that were long ago drawn in the P1 phosphor-green sky by the tomes and illusions of Bantam Books, Warner Bros., and Wired magazine. They demand a prognostication on the level of trying to guess the future market share of Orion’s belt.
Without addressing the myths piled onto VR (pointing out that said “belt” is really three stars overlaid with a story), which was what people were typically asking about, I would never be able to leave the sacred circumambulation around the temple of VR’s myth. So I started researching. What you’ll find below are the streamlined results of my search to find out what the myths were, how those myths got made, who they serve, and what they mean for the grand, but also highly specific, mythology invoked by those two little letters: V and R.