In 2022, virtual reality can be an amazing experience. It can transport you to whole new worlds or allow you to meet and socialize with thousands of people of the whole world. However, even after years of improvements, virtual reality can still be very messy, difficult to explain, and often boring experience, too. And the last episode of Bob’s Burgers perfectly captures all the issues that new fun-seeking VR gamers still face.
Over the weekend, the most recent episode of Bob’s Burgers broadcast. For those unfamiliar with the animated series, now in its 13th season, the series revolves around a still-broken family that lives above their unsuccessful restaurant. Bob Belcher, the restaurant’s father, chef, and owner, is a grumpy but lovable straight man, while his wife Linda, two daughters, and son are more goofy and eccentric. The show is funny, heart-filled, and overall fantastic. (Bob’s Burgers movie is awesome too.) Anyway, back to the last episode of the series, which focused on Bob and his young son Gene living and suffering with virtual reality.
When a virtual reality arcade opens next to the restaurant, Bob and Gene are both excited. However, the place charges $45 per hour. Gene decides to use his savings, nearly $100, to pay him and his dad to both enjoy an hour of virtual reality fun. The day before they leave, Gene has a dream describing what virtual reality often looks like in movies or TV shows. He flies like a superhero, explores space and saves the day. It’s a perfect paradise where anything can happen and anything works. This is how virtual reality is often portrayed in the media, ignoring how difficult this stuff can be, especially for people with weak stomachs.
However, when Gene and Bob arrive on the scene to play virtual reality, things quickly go downhill. Real games are hard to play, look bad, and constantly break. Bob discovers that he is not well suited to virtual reality as he quickly gets motion sickness and feels bad while playing. Gene struggles with orders and issues. During a game, their virtual arms break and bend behind them. Another time, their limbs swap as they attempt to climb a mountain. Gene also complains that his VR glasses fog up and become blurry. It’s a disaster, and with no refund policy, the best the guy running the place can do is give them an extra hour tomorrow once he fixes things up a bit.
Of course, tomorrow comes and they come back and it’s all bad again. Trying to play a beat the saber-like a rhythm game everything breaks up so badly that Gene and Bob want out. However, the store owner came out to take a call and neither of them knew how to remove their headphones. Trapped in virtual reality, Bob and Gene have a conversation related to the episode’s larger theme – how we all make mistakes and sometimes it’s better to learn from them – before eventually Gene starts to get confused. fun with the broken game.
It reminded me of a time when I was playing PSVR and a game broke, but I ended up having more fun exploring the horrifying impromptu interactive nightmare than playing the real game. Bob feels bad during all this, he stays in virtual reality with his son to enjoy this broken world with Gene.
Not only was it a solid and cute episode of Bob’s Burgers, but it was also probably the most authentic and realistic depiction of VR gaming I’ve seen in a movie or TV show. The time Bob wanted to take his helmet off because he felt bad but couldn’t figure it out reminded me of times when I’ve had people try virtual reality in my house and see them freaking out for the same reason. The visuals of the fictional games seen are also very on point. Looks like whoever wrote this story played (and suffered) in virtual reality in real life. Maybe if someone hooked up Bob with work simulator in virtual realityso he could cook in a kitchen, he could have a better time.