THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality
By Blake J. Harris
Bestselling Author of Console Wars:Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation
Blake J. Harris’ CONSOLE WARS: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation (published in May 2014) was called “fast, fluid, and startlingly accessible” by Entertainment Weekly and hailed as “one of the best nonfiction books I’ve ever read” by Paul Tassi for Forbes. NPR and Slate both named it a “Best Book of the Year,” and in November 2018, Legendary Pictures announced its plans to adapt the story into a limited-edition TV series, with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Scott Rudin attached.
With THE HISTORY OF THE FUTURE: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality, Harris once again delivers a tech drama for the ages, this time taking readers behind the scenes for the larger-than-life true story of Oculus, the upstart virtual reality company founded in 2012 that—less than two years later—dazzled Mark Zuckerberg and was bought by Facebook for over two billion dollars.
This incredible underdog story begins with inventor Palmer Luckey, then just a nineteen-year-old dreamer, living alone in a camper trailer in Long Beach, California. At the time, virtual reality—long-hailed as the ultimate technology—was so costly and experimental that it was unattainable outside of a few research labs and military training facilities. But with the founding of Oculus, and the belief that his tantalizing vision of the future could one day be more than science fiction, Luckey put everything he had into creating a device that would allow gamers like him to step into virtual worlds and, in doing so, hopefully kickstart a VR revolution.
With the help of an industry legend, a serial entrepreneur, and a slew of colorful characters—including those behind gaming sensations like Doom, Words with Friends, and Guitar Hero—Luckey’s scrappy startup would finally deliver the dream of immersive and affordable virtual reality to consumers, leading geeks and gamers to be excited in a way that they hadn’t been in years, and tech firms and investors scrambling to get in on the action before it was too late.
Over the course of three and a half years, and with unprecedented access from Oculus and Facebook, Harris conducted hundreds of exclusive interviews with key players in the VR revolution and obtained over 25,000 internal documents to weave together a rich, cinematic narrative that captures the breakthroughs and breakdowns of trying to change the world.