As the headset slid over my eyes, engulfing me in darkness I waited. Eventually I saw two small pin pricks of light. Then, gradually, a photonic mural was built before my very eyes. Almost real enough to reach out and touch. I had made it, I was here, virtual reality, I stood atop the apex of my new accomplishment and marveled at what I had done. That’s when I saw the words hovering in the air above the main menu that would make the hairs on my beard decide it was time for an impromptu color change and the hairs on my head yearn for snowboarding vacation in Vermont.

Your computer doesn’t meet Rift’s recommended specifications

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It had to be fake, I had just built this rig last year, everything that was in the box was specifically chosen by me to be VR ready. This had to be a joke. I took off the headset and put it back on. Surely the message would be gone:

Your computer doesn’t meet Rift’s recommended specifications

Nope, it was still there. Now I have to tell you that I am no stranger to disappointment (much like my mother, despite what she would say), so I like to think that I handled this with the same dignity and grace that I have handled a great deal of setbacks in my life. I’d like to think that, and with enough practiced denial I believe I can get there. Instead what happened was more colorful language, followed by more ice cream and more questions about how I could be so creative with various fowl and fauna when things weren’t working right, but couldn’t hit a deadline, or remember a birthday to save my life.

I still wasn’t believe what I was seeing. The words were there, but I was having a hard time believing their meaning. I mean, I understood each word individually, but strung together like that, it was quite difficulty to believe. These are truly dark times for ol’ Drakespirit. I had climbed so high, worked so hard, and in the end it doesn’t even matter.

I had to go back to the drawing board. I swear that all the parts I had scavenged and scrounged should have been good enough to grant me access to my digital Valhalla, where I was to do battle with zombies, and robots while people looked on with a mixture of awe, wonder and pity. I carefully reviewed what I had done, and what I had used and what in the seven hells had possibly gone wrong.

Then it hit me, the GPU and the RAM were all up to snuff, but the processor was just barely outside the minimum specs (yes, I run AMD, what of it?!), the Oculus could run most of what I was throwing at it, but when we got to the fun, shooty bits of Robo Recall or Dead ‘n Buried, nada. The rig decided that it had better things to do than attempt to render all the gloriously visceral acts that the robots were enduring at my hands.

One quick trip to the local computer parts store, and way more money that I was wanting to spend (I couldn’t very well hit up the regional headquarters of Rivet City again, they might get suspicious) I was back on my way. Little did I know at the time that my tale was only half over.

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