Don't Make This Virtual Reality Mistake

You know what really grinds my gears? Ridiculous photos that are used to advertise products. You know the ones, where something has been very obviously been Photoshopped in with little care. Today, the PGA Tour has been kind enough to provide me with an "Exhibit A" for talking about why you need to think about photos used to promote your products.

Our own Chris Burns has touched on the topic of how not to advertise your VR experiences. Essentially, we need to stop showing people doing things while wearing a VR headset. Why? Because even in the best-case scenario, the picture is going to look silly. Worst case, you'll have a guy sitting down to dinner with a Gear VR Photoshopped onto his head. You know the one I'm talking about.

But today, as I was chatting with my fellow SlashGear writers (SlashGearians? SlashWriters? Forget it. I'm sticking with "co-workers") the image up top showed up (without all of the lovely annotations), in relation to an article that someone was doing. How do I hate this picture? Let me count the ways.

Virtual Reality Done Wrong

Okay, at first glance, you're probably thinking "it's a guy playing VR golf, I get it." Or maybe you're thinking "what is that idiot doing outside with that thing strapped to his face?" I'm definitely in the latter group. In fact, I won't pretend to know a ton about golf, but this photo has got to be borderline offensive to golfers.

Remember flipping through Highlights magazines at the doctor's office when you were a kid? They'd have pictures where you'd find the differences, or try to find certain things hidden within. That's how I feel this picture should be treated. How many things can you find wrong with it?

The first thing I see wrong is that the guy is outside on a golf green with something covering his face. That just seems like a horrible idea. His ears are covered, too. So he's not going to hear anyone yelling "fore!" when they smack a ball in his direction.

Next, he's clearly on the green, but the hole is behind him. Oh, and since he's on the green, shouldn't be be using a putter? That looks like some sort of a wedge or an iron, (see, I totally know what I'm talking about with golf) which you really shouldn't be using on the green.

Since we're talking about the club, what kind of Happy Gilmore kind of grip is that? I'm not sure what he would hope to accomplish with this grip or stance. And clearly whatever he's experiencing through the magic of Virtual Reality is doing nothing to help his form.

Now remember, this image was released by the PGA. So let's take a look at the sports logo on this guy's shirt. You'd think it would be a PGA logo, but no, it's the MLB logo. Maybe they knew this was a terrible idea, and they were hoping to confuse anyone looking at the image.

I think the worst part of the photo is the fact that everyone in the background is looking away from this guy. Sure, he's been 'shopped into this background, but let's go for some realism here. If this guy was actually standing on that green, the entire crowd would be looking at him, wondering what on earth he was doing there.

So you're the biggest name in golf, and you want to market your new VR app. Instead of doing anything rational, you get a guy in an MLB shirt to hold a golf club with a hockey grip, facing away from the hole. Oh, and you go ahead and strap the VR headset on him, just for added absurdity. If they can't get the sport of golf right in their marketing material, I don't have a lot of hope for whatever virtual reality app they're developing.