Technicities of Pistol Whip (on the Oculus Quest)
After playing just over an hour of Pistol Whip on my Oculus Quest, I can confidently say; Move over John Wick, there’s a new badass in town. Developer and Publisher, Cloudhead Games, has successfully created a game where you feel like you’re the star of the latest gun fu action movie. It can appeal to anyone, it’s easy to pick up and play, but it can be difficult to master. It can cater to hardcore gamers, casual gamers, and even non-gamers alike. The Oculus Quest played a huge role in making Pistol Whip accessible to casual and non-gamers. You no longer need to have an expensive gaming pc to experience high quality VR games. Dovey and Kennedy’s idea of technicity is “the interconnectedness of identity and technological competence. People’s tastes, aptitudes and propensities towards technology become part of a particular ‘identity’. This identity then becomes a basis for affiliations and connections with like-minded others” (64). I have witnessed gamers from all backgrounds and skill levels come together and embrace the rise of VR gaming. My parents have even enjoyed VR and the closest thing to a video game they have ever played is a slot machine at the casino. Games like Pistol Whip look past the three technicities of; hardcore gamer, casual gamer, and non-gamer and creates the new technicity of VR gamer. It breaks the norm of who is or can be considered a gamer.
Pistol Whip in VR feels like the next evolution of video games. Being able to look around and have complete control of your hand/guns makes you feel as if you are really in the game. Dodging bullets while perfectly taking out waves and waves of enemies in sync with the beat of the music is super satisfying. VR is comparable to the cyborg technicity. The cyborg is “the idea that our new intimate connection with machines could create a fluid zone of identity” (Dovey & Kennedy, 2007). With VR, you are no longer looking at the character from behind or above. First person shooters put you in the perspective of the character, but VR takes it a step further by matching your every move to your character in the game. While in VR, you become the character.
“Chapter 4: NETWORKS OF TECHNICITY.” Game Cultures Computer Games As New Media, by Jon Dovey and Helen W. Kennedy, McGraw-Hill Education, 2007.