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You Can Do Bong Hits With HBO’s “Silicon Valley” Crew–In VR

A new virtual reality experience built to promote the hit show’s fifth season launches on HTC’s Vive this Sunday.

You Can Do Bong Hits With HBO’s “Silicon Valley” Crew–In VR

Have you ever wanted to do bong hits with the crew from HBO’s Silicon Valley? Now you can–in VR.

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To coincide with the show’s fifth season premiere, the hit-making cable channel is debuting Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel, a virtual reality recreation of the infamous house where the show’s main characters have lived and failed, again and again, to build their business.

[Photo: courtesy of HBO]
Fans of the show will recognize many of the VR experience’s features–the Not Hot Dog app, the race to get “always blue,” the messy kitchen, and fridge, the original Pied Piper jacket, and even the Burning Man poster on the wall. As they make their way through the house, they’ll encounter video challenges from Dinesh and Gilfoyle, and try to track down a secret message from Jared.

You’ll have to try to help Richard solve a coding crisis, make toast, play piano, draw on a whiteboard, toss a few things in a garbage can, destroy old hard drives, and even play a little foosball. Trust me, playing foosball in VR is hard, even with good hand controllers. All told, there are 750 interactive items in the experience, which should keep fans busy for awhile.

As with many VR experiences, the Silicon Valley project is fun. Those who have an HTC Vive can dive in and try to achieve as many of Dinesh and Gilfoyle’s goals as possible, but once they’ve done so, it’s hard to imagine that they’ll want to play again. Of course, if you’re a fan of the show, you probably have friends who are too.

And it’s worth it–for the show’s fans. There’s enough faithful details to amuse anyone who’s seen a few episodes, and a lot for those who are steeped in every last bit of Silicon Valley–the place, as well as the show–lore. And that’s partly because Rewind, which developed the experience as a promotion for the show’s fifth season, took 360-degree imagery of the show’s actual set, as well as incorporated set blueprints. That means that things look just the way they should–an effect helped by video clips of the actual actors playing Dinesh, Gilfoyle, Big Head, Jian-Yang, and, of course, Richard.

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About the author

Daniel Terdiman is a San Francisco-based technology journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. A veteran of CNET and VentureBeat, Daniel has also written for Wired, The New York Times, Time, and many other publications

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