So you’ve got your cave set up just as you want it. Bar in the corner. Another bar in the other corner. Big leather couch. A home cinema system so big you can’t watch it without getting motion sickness. Trophies you’ve won in the cabinet. Photos of better trophies won by other people on the wall. One last bar in another corner. The last thing you want to do now is to have to get up and leave your cave, even though there is a nagging doubt in the back of your mind that maybe there are things out there in the world that would be pretty cool to see and experience.
Well don’t worry, thankfully there are many ways to see everything there is to see, experience everything that is out there in this world of ours without having to get off of the couch. Even better, there is no dress code and no one is going to care if you have a couple of cold ones while you are at it. So sit down, don’t bother to buckle up and enjoy the ride with these ideas on how to satisfy your wanderlust without ever leaving your cave.
Short of actually relocating your man cave outside, virtual reality is the best way to sample the outside world and all it has to offer, without leaving the comfort (and fridge) of your cave. The Oculus Rift headset is something that really does have to be seen to be believed, and looks set to revolutionize gaming, film making – and travel.
Due to hit the market in just a few weeks, it really does look the perfect piece of kit that will mean you will never have to leave the comfort of your cave again.
Others are already jumping on the VR bandwagon. Linden Lab, the creators of the virtual reality world Second Life, with its 1,000,000 users, announced last year they were working on a brand new virtual world. With a working title of Project Sansar, it is specifically designed to be used by players wearing a Rift headset, or Samsung’s equivalent – the Gear VR.
One of the things virtual reality is promising us is a visual tourism experience that’s almost identical to the real thing. There are already VR applications such as The Wild Within VR Experience, which can offer you virtual tours, in this case of British Columbia. All you have to do is wait for the gear to be released in a few months. Things have moved on, and man, how they’ve moved on.
Explore the World
There are 196 countries in the world, and I bet you haven’t even visited 1/10th of them. But there are literally hundreds of people out there, travelling the length and breadth of the globe, taking photos and telling you all about it – so you don’t have to. You don’t have to worry about forgetting your passport, coping with foreign food or trying not to get bitten by the hundreds of insects whose home you’re stumbling through. Without leaving your cave you can visit a country a day. All of a sudden, trekking across the Alps doesn’t seem such an arduous undertaking. Why not see the Gobi Desert in the morning, and then after a spot a lunch take a quick trip down the Amazon?
One thing you can be sure of is that the holiday photos will be a hell of a lot better than the ones you used to take.
Of course the world has moved on from the still photograph. Technology now allows for a more inclusive experience. It is still fun to stroll down any street in the world courtesy of Google, and the thought of doing that only a decade ago would have seemed unbelievable.
Play Poker in a Casino
There are few better ways to spend an evening than to invite the guys round to the cave to show off your poker table, flashy gear and skills. There is however always the downside of having them fall asleep on the couch, spill beer on the rug, and empty your fridge. So, why not get the best of both worlds? Online poker is one of the best and fastest growing gaming experiences. Worldwide more than 40 million people play online poker – 23 million of those are in the US. That’s over 10% of the adult population.
Playing online gives you the chance to practice your game, at the level of your choice, at the table of your choice. Moreover, many leading online casinos offer a new product called live casino. That means that you can connect via live streaming to a remote casino setting, where a real dealer will deal your cards and spin the roulette wheel for you. Live Casino has turned out to be a favorite of internet punters in the last few years, as it provides a realistic, almost identical experience to a brick-and-mortar casino. And you can play without the accompaniment of Big Dave snoring.
One of the beauties of virtual reality, as opposed to actual reality is that you are not restricted by those things that stop you doing what we want – things like time and money. If we are going to take a stroll down London’s Oxford Street, or explore the pyramids in Egypt, why not go the whole way and leave this planet behind?
The International Space Station – the largest man-made object in space, and visible with the naked eye, is like a man cave in space. Without the poker tables, beer and gravity. What it does have though is some of the most amazing views that any human will ever have witnessed. Those kind people at the European Space Agency have allowed everyone to get to see those views courtesy of their HDEV (High Definition Earth Viewing) experiment.
Once you’ve made the effort to leave the earth, after a couple of times around the home land, it may be a good idea to see what some of the other planets have to offer. NASA’s Opportunity and Curiosity Rovers have been on Mars since 2004 and 2014 respectively, sending back photos and video footage of the red planet.
It may be branded as an engineering tool and not a game, but I don’t care. The unbelievably realistic X-Plane 10 Global flight simulator is about as close to the real thing as you can get. Available on Mac, Windows on Linux from developer Laminar Research, this baby is used by real pilots to hone their flying skills and help to prepare in case things go wrong – and in case they don’t. The simulator allows users to fly all manner of different planes, ranging from the Cessna 172 all the way up to a B-2 Bomber. The latest version even gives aspiring pilots the chance to try and land the Space Shuttle.
The visuals, weather and audios make for a completely immersive experience. In no time at all, you are transported from your cave to the cramped cockpit of an X-15 trying to land at Denver airport in a blizzard. If the normal gameplay isn’t tricky enough for you, or you thrive on that extra adrenalin kick, there is a mode where randomly generated system failures throw the proverbial spanner in the works.
I can only see two potential downsides to this piece of software. After playing with this for a while, you will have crashed enough planes never to want to set foot on an actual plane again. The other was that my version didn’t seem to come with any air stewardesses.
If you crave to strap a couple of planks to your feet and then slide down some of the world’s highest mountain ranges but just can’t summon up the motivation to leave your man cave, then this indoor ski simulator by SkyTechSport could very well be just the thing for you. Used by the actual USA ski team to train, it is the most realistic simulators out there and actually a fun way to keep fit. Cutting edge technology is used to recreate the G-forces you would experience on the slopes and to monitor your motion and ski or board positions with great precision. Whether you are just looking for that ultimate skiing experience or want to get some practice in without the hassle and expense, this is perfect. The simulator uses a multimedia projector combined with a massive panoramic screen (complete with phenomenal resolution). Don your 3-D glasses and you are instantly on the slope. It is so realistic it is scary. Literally, those trees coming at you are scary! This piece of kit will add that bit of class to any man cave. All you need to do is worry about is the après ski.
Thanks to brands creating software and gadgets that use innovative technology, it has never been easier – or more affordable – to see and experience our world and other worlds, simply with a couple of clicks of the mouse. It all adds up to a lot of gain with very little pain, and will save you a fortune. Which of course means you can invest the money saved in making your man cave an even better place from which to visit everywhere from.
EpicManCave.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to (“EpicManCave.net” (amazon.com, or endless.com, MYHABIT.com, SmallParts.com, or AmazonWireless.com).