Did you know what the number 1 downloaded App was from the Apple App store on Christmas day? It was the Oculus VR app. That is Meta's app for their very popular Oculus VR headset. And, based on this information, it appears that it just got more popular this Christmas.
On October 28, 2021, Facebook officially changed their corporate name to Meta. With this announcement they signaled that they would be investing a significant amount of time and money into the development of the metaverse and virtual reality.
Virtual reality is not new to Meta as they released their very first consumer Oculus headset in March of 2016. They have been investing into the system for years and have grown in popularity in recent years. Back in November Meta reportedly sold 10 million units of it Oculus VR headers. Which brings us to what happened during this past Christmas where there was a tremendous spike in VR gaming. More people got Oculus headsets this Christmas which means more people are getting into virtual reality.
Does this mean that you need to immediately go out and buy a VR headset and you need to jump into VR ministry? No, not at all. While the Oculus and other VR headsets are priced more reasonably these days, it is still far from mainstream. But what it does mean is that there will likely be more headsets sold over the coming years. In fact, Apple is working on a headset that is supposed to be released sometime in 2022. In addition, Meta, Google and Microsoft all plan to release new hardware products and software services regarding VR and the metaverse.
When big companies start investing in a product or service like they are now, that product goes from niche to more mainstream. For instance, when Apple came out with the iPad, tablets grew in popularity. When they came out with the Apple Watch, more people started wearing Smart Watches. Virtual reality is going to become more mainstream in the upcoming year.
While your days of full-time Virtual Reality Ministry may still be a ways away, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be looking into VR and becoming familiar with how it works this year. More and more stats and information back up the fact that 2022 is going to be a very big year of metaverse development and exploration. That is why we need to start exploring. Start learning. Start following some tech companies to learn what they are doing in the metaverse. And, finally, start looking at what VR Ministry Leaders like Jason Poling, PastorBrock, Theo Davis, Pastor Souzy, DJ Soto, Jate Earhart, and others are doing to help people hear about Christ and be transformed in His name. T'he more we can explore and understand what is happening in the metaverse, the more we can know if this is the right move in 2022 for your Church.
What do you think? What else can we learn from the popularity of VR and the metaverse? Share your ideas below or on social media.
Also, if you are interested in being a Digital Missionary and learning more about the metaverse and other digital tools to expand your reach in ministry this year, join the Digital Bootcamp Facebook Group!