You know that feeling. You’ve invited a friend over to check out all of your fun new virtual reality hardware. You know that this friend has never experienced the pleasure of this new exciting technology, and you get to be the first person to expose him to it. You start to get that warm, fuzzy feeling in your belly. You KNOW that your friend is going to love it, and you cannot wait to see the reaction. You have so many feelings right now, but what exactly are they?
As an Evangelist of immersive tech, I have been experiencing this for years. I have not been keeping track, but unofficially, I believe I have introduced VR/AR to thousands of people. I’ve heard people say that they have ‘taken someone’s VRginity’, or even ‘popped their VR cherry’. While these terms are vulgar and possibly somewhat offensive to some, these descriptions do convey the proper level of intense invasive joy that was delivered during the experience.
I posed the question to the Twittersphere:
There were several good answers provided by the community:
This one really hit home for me. While doing my own research, I had come across the term ‘schadenfreude’, which means ‘experiencing joy and happiness from watching other people suffer misfortune’, and realized that we were looking for a term to represent the exact opposite of that. Aldis gets special bonus points for reading my mind. Bonus points are also awarded to Fox for this tweet:
‘Compersion’ is an empathetic states of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy… and the term is primarily used by members of the polyamory community in the context of sharing mates and whatnot. The term is close, and Fox’s spin on it is cute, but the main usage of the term by a polyamorous community might not sit well with everyone.
Another term which is similar is ‘frubble’, which can be described as the feeling that wells up inside you while you watch young children open their presents at Christmas. This very closely describes the feeling I get when I put a headset on someone who is excited to try a new experience.
Finally, we have this response from our good friend Brian Rose over at Google:
Its been reported that others are also using the term VR giggle, so this definitely lands on a short list of potential winners.
Whatever you want to call it, it’s a real thing. We experience joy and happiness by sharing immersive tech.
Let’s keep that in mind during the holiday season and spread a little VR love to the world.