Oculus Homes Ransacked

Oculus Homes Ransacked
There's nothing left but a fire and some wood, presumably to finish the job of destroying this Home. Unfortunately 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 customise with furniture and any number of personal polygonal accessories. But when I rezzed in, something was amiss. Or rather, everything was missing: My home had been stripped bare!

At first, I blamed myself. Surely I’d done something funky on my PC that’d resulted in virtual burglars absconding with my default-arse 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,” I lamented.

In my confusion I turned to Reddit, and it turns out various other Oculus Home users, 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, and “…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 cosy 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.)

My deck chairs! My barbecue! My unsafe, sheer drop into wilderness! (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku) My deck chairs! My barbecue! My unsafe, sheer drop into wilderness! (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku)

One user 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 customise VR to suit your tastes will make you feel even more at home.”

“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 enticed by the ability to “visit” other users’ Homes, even when they’re not stripped bare of all distinguishing characteristics.

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

Home also still uses rather ugly, user-customised 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 customising my Oculus Home because it feels depreciated and gives me PlayStation Home vibes (RIP).

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.

Uh oh, the teeth warning.

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

Oh dear! (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku) Oh dear! (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku)

Lookin’ good!

Feeling cute rn, might delete later. (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku) Feeling cute rn, might delete later. (Screenshot: Oculus / Kotaku)

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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