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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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.

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: 9780062455963
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 36,274
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.80(d)

About the Author

Blake J. Harris is a writer and filmmaker based out of New York. He is currently codirecting the documentary based on this book, which is being produced by Scott Rudin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. He will also serve as an executive producer on Sony's feature-film adaptation of Console Wars.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ernest Cline ix

Author's Note xvii

Prologue 1

Part 1 The Revolution Virtual 5

Chapter 1 The Boy Who Lived To Mod 7

Chapter 2 Carmack The Magnificent 21

Chapter 3 A Tale Of Two Trade Shows 31

Chapter 4 The Scaleform Mafia 39

Chapter 5 STK 56

Chapter 6 Pivots, Prototypes, And Partnerships 68

Chapter 7 Freedom Is Happiness 74

Chapter 8 That Fateful Promise 82

Chapter 9 Mount Up 92

Chapter 10 Valve! 111

Chapter 11 Kickstarter 126

Part 2 How To Build A Company 137

Chapter 12 The King Of Pop Software 139

Chapter 13 Showtime 148

Chapter 14 The Anomalies 154

Chapter 15 The Hong Kong Shuffle 172

Chapter 16 Just Kids 183

Chapter 17 Oculus Vs. Ouya 192

Chapter 18 Good, Better, And Best At The 2013 Ces 199

Chapter 19 Proverbs 29, Verse 18 222

Chapter 20 Wall-To-Wall Drama 235

Chapter 21 GDC 252

Part 3 The Good Old Days 257

Chapter 22 Move Slow And Build Things (Aka Facebook 2.0) 259

Chapter 23 Nine Stories 263

Chapter 24 The Future Of Gaming 274

Chapter 25 Andrew Reisse 279

Chapter 26 Ideas So Crazy They Just Might 285

Chapter 27 The Room 295

Chapter 28 Jockeying For Position 300

Chapter 29 Zuckerbro Intrigued 306

Chapter 30 Blue's Clues 318

Chapter 31 The Backlash 333

Chapter 32 The New Normal 339

Chapter 33 Enter HTC 346

Chapter 34 Out Of The Woodwork 348

Chapter 35 Charging Forward 353

Chapter 36 Canaries In The Coal Mine 356

Part 4 Politics 363

Chapter 37 Twelve Days In 2015 365

Chapter 38 Awaken The Sleeping Giants 375

Chapter 39 Lockdown 382

Chapter 40 Entitlement Checks 390

Chapter 41 The Devil Is In The Details 399

Chapter 42 Nimble 409

Chapter 43 Internet Drama 412

Chapter 44 The Daily Beast 418

Chapter 45 Exile 433

Chapter 46 The Heist, The Comedy And The Fantasy VS. The Documentary 445

Chapter 47 The Verdict 463

Chapter 48 The Seemingly Impossible Challenge 469

Chapter 49 Employee Number One 478

Chapter 50 He's Back 484

Acknowledgments 491

Notes 493

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The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Just a few words. I've been in situations where I was undone by jealousy and power plays. I can so well relate to Palmer Luckey. He is a good man undermined by the very people who should have supported him. Did anyone else get that idea about Irbi? I came to believe that he set up the FB buy to line his own pockets and power base. The fact that his colleagues (?) turned against him by failing to simply recognize, like adults, differences in political opinions was reprehensible. FB certainly looks like it's loaded with snowflakes. What a great read this is! If the theme illustrated by this book and it's title is, in fact, our future we are in for some very rough times.
Anonymous 8 months ago