The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality

by Blake J. Harris

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Overview

The dramatic, larger-than-life true story behind the founding of Oculus and its quest for virtual reality, by the bestselling author of Console Wars. Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game-changing new industry.

From iconic books like Neuromancer to blockbuster films like The Matrix, virtual reality has long been hailed as the ultimate technology. But outside of a few research labs and military training facilities, this tantalizing vision of the future was nothing but science fiction. Until 2012, when Oculus founder Palmer Luckey—then just a rebellious teenage dreamer living alone in a camper trailer—invents a device that has the potential to change everything.

With the help of a videogame legend, a serial entrepreneur and many other colorful characters, Luckey’s scrappy startup kickstarts a revolution and sets out to bring VR to the masses. As with most underdog stories, things don’t quite go according to plan. But what happens next turns out to be the ultimate entrepreneurial journey: a tale of battles won and lost, lessons learned and neverending twists and turns—including an unlikely multi-billion-dollar acquisition by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, which shakes up the landscape in Silicon Valley and gives Oculus the chance to forever change our reality.

Drawing on over a hundred interviews with the key players driving this revolution, The History of the Future weaves together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs, breakdowns and human drama of trying to change the world. The result is a super accessible and supremely entertaining look at the birth of a game-changing new industry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062455970
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/10/2020
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 329,987
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Blake J. Harris is the bestselling author of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, which is currently being adapted into a feature film by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Scott Rudin. He has written for ESPN, IGN, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, /Film and The AV Club. He is also a regular guest on Paul Scheer’s How Did This Get Made? podcast, where every week he interviews some the biggest names responsible for some of the worst movies ever made. Harris lives in New York with his wife.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ernest Cline xi

Author's Note xix

Prologue 1

Part 1 The Revolution Virtual 5

Chapter 1 The Boy Who Lived to Mod 7

Chapter 2 Carmack the Magnificent 22

Chapter 3 A Tale of Two Trade Shows 32

Chapter 4 The Scaleform Mafia 40

Chapter 5 STK 57

Chapter 6 Pivots, Prototypes, and Partnerships 70

Chapter 7 Freedom Is Happiness 76

Chapter 8 That Fateful Promise 84

Chapter 9 Mount Up 94

Chapter 10 Valve! 114

Chapter 11 Kicrstarter 130

Part 2 How to Build a Company 141

Chapter 12 The King of Pop Software 143

Chapter 13 Showtime 152

Chapter 14 The Anomalies 160

Chapter 15 The Hong Kong Shuffle 178

Chapter 16 Just Kids 189

Chapter 17 Oculus vs. Ouya 198

Chapter 18 Good, Better, and Best at the 2013 CES 205

Chapter 19 Proverbs 29, Verse 18 229

Chapter 20 Wall-To-Wall Drama 242

Chapter 21 GDC 261

Part 3 The Good Old Days 267

Chapter 22 Move Slow and Build Things (Aka Facebook 2.0) 269

Chapter 23 Nine Stories 273

Chapter 24 The Future of Gaming 284

Chapter 25 Andrew Reisse 289

Chapter 26 Ideas So Crazy They Just Might 295

Chapter 27 The Room 307

Chapter 28 Jockeying for Position 312

Chapter 29 Zuckerbro Intrigued 324

Chapter 30 Blue's Clues 336

Chapter 31 The Backlash 352

Chapter 32 The New Normal 358

Chapter 33 Enter HTC 366

Chapter 34 Out of the Woodwork 368

Chapter 35 Charging Forward 373

Chapter 36 Canaries in the Coal Mine 379

Part 4 Politics 387

Chapter 37 Twelve Days in 2015 389

Chapter 38 Awaken the Sleeping Giants 400

Chapter 39 Lockdown 408

Chapter 40 Entitlement Checks 416

Chapter 41 The Devil is in the Details 431

Chapter 42 Nimble 443

Chapter 43 Internet Drama 447

Chapter 44 The Daily Beast 454

Chapter 45 Exile 473

Chapter 46 The Heist, the Comedy and the Fantasy vs. the Documentary 488

Chapter 47 The Verdict 506

Chapter 48 The Seemingly Impossible Challenge 512

Chapter 49 Employee Number One 521

Chapter 50 He's Back 527

Epilogue 535

Acknowledgments 557

Notes 559

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