Oculus Homes Ransacked

There’s nothing left but a fire and some wood, presumably to finish the job of destroying this Home. But arson requires limbs.
There’s nothing left but a fire and some wood, presumably to finish the job of destroying this Home. But arson requires limbs.
Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku

Yesterday I donned my three-week-old Oculus Quest 2 and decided to check in on Oculus Home, a personal 3D space that each Oculus user can customize with furniture and any number of faux-domestic polygonal accessories. But when I rezzed in, something was amiss. Or rather, everything was missing: My Home had been stripped bare.

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At first, I blamed myself. Perhaps I’d done something funky on my PC that’d resulted in virtual burglars absconding with my default-ass set of unremarkable furnishings. Or more likely, my avatar was suffering persecution for being a witch. So much for a fresh start in a new town.

In my confusion I ran to Reddit, and it turned out numerous other Oculus Homeowners, across multiple headsets, have also been struck by smooth criminals.

“I went onto Oculus Home today and my entire home environment was empty EVERYTHING GONE,” said one poster, adding, “not only that but any room i visit either it be one that I own or someone else’s they are also empty as well.”

“Same with my Rift S. Pretty annoyed because I had made several really chill rooms with cozy interior design,” said another.

“This is why you should have home insurance,” offered a third. (As Mister Rogers told us, always look for the helpers.)

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My deck chairs! My barbecue! My unsafe, sheer drop into wilderness!
Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku
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One Redditor summoned Oculus support, which reported being aware of and looking into the issue. Presumably everyone’s Pier 1 Imports knock-off detritus will be restored in due time. In my searching, I noticed this also happened two and a half years ago. More cybercrimes! It didn’t take too long to crack that particular case, but one has to wonder what Oculus has goin’ on in that cloud of theirs if users’ carefully curated decors can so easily vanish.

Oculus Home was introduced at the tail end of 2017 as a part of Rift Core 2.0. At the time, CNET wrote, “Oculus believes the ability to customize VR to suit your tastes will make you feel even more at home.”

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“We’re giving you a space that belongs to you,” said Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell, blithely unaware of the large-scale furniture heists to come.

Maybe it’s just me, but as a new Quest 2 user in 2021, Oculus Home has a whiff of decay about it that makes me wonder if it’ll stick around for the long haul. Since it’s a PCVR app and Quest is its own platform, it no longer loads by default when you start using the headset. I find the interface clunky and am not very intrigued by the ability to “visit” other users’ Homes, even when they’re not stripped bare of all distinguishing characteristics.

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Well, there’s plenty of room for VR now.
Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku

Home also still uses rather ugly, user-customized avatars that may even be legacy now since Oculus just launched a “new, expressive” avatar system. (The new avatars are fairly indistinguishable from the generic style popular since Xbox 360’s avatar update, so that’s probably a step in the right, if not a visually exciting, direction.) Long story short, I’m not very enticed to spend any time customizing my Oculus Home because it feels depreciated and gives me PlayStation Home vibes (RIP).

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Anyway, without my furnishings there wasn’t much left to do in Home other than descend into madness and jam Home’s selfie cam deep into my avatar’s skull.

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Uh oh, the teeth warning.

You know we’re gettin’ into dicey territory now...

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Oh dear!
Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku
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Lookin’ good!

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Feeling cute rn, might delete later.
Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku
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Some real Fear and Loathing energy here. Work it!

Well, that’s about it for now. Going to go lay on the hard marble floor, I guess.

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Staff Editor, Kotaku.

DISCUSSION

I used to not care about Oculus Home (Rift S) until I discovered you can change the environment to a futuristic cyberpunk city. I placed a couch on the edge of the apartment with a giant widescreen hovering in the air and it’s one of the most comfy experiences I’ve had in VR.

Gonna miss it when I switch to an Index. Steam’s home system doesn’t compare, there are more environments but it’s much more static.