New Oculus Touch Controllers Allow You to Light Fireworks

A new demo shows how to light Roman candles, pull back a sling shot, or play table tennis.

The Oculus Touch controllers — twin bits of black plastic that loop around your fingers to track your hand movements — let you pull back a virtual slingshot, and then give a buddy a thumbs-up across vast expanse of space to celebrate a successful shot.

In a demo of its “Toybox” software uploaded to YouTube today, Oculus wants to convince us that, yes, you can shoot lasers in VR, but this goes beyond Portal ported to a headset: It’s fun with friends, or at least blue ghost avatars of your friends, who give the impression they’re standing in front of you when they’re not at all.

This sort of unstructured play hints at the social dream of virtual reality that Facebook has been twitching about in its sleep since it dropped $2 billion on Oculus last March.

It’s casual and accessible — a thumbs up is just you moving your thumb — and it might trick you into thinking your pal is at your side.