Apparently This Matters: Virtual soda drinking

Soda Drinker Pro lets gamers virtually walk through whatever this is and pretend to enjoy soda. Outstanding.

Story highlights

  • Soda Drinker Pro is a virtual reality game that simulates enjoying a soft drink
  • It started getting noticed after it was shown at a soda drinking convention in Providence
  • The game is now ready for Xbox One and Oculus Rift

I haven't had a single Diet Coke in 2014. It was a conscious health decision, and the only real side effect, now, is that the world is awful and I hate everything.

Including puppies.

Quite frankly, my life was much better when I drank Diet Coke. It had purpose.

Mind you, that purpose was to spend seven hours a day in front of a urinal. But some really good ideas came out of that.

"Apparently This Matters" Is Jarrett Bellini's weekly (and somewhat random) look at social-media trends.

"Andrew, we should totally build an ark."

I've actually written before about my Diet Coke addiction. It was legitimately bad. There was even a short period where it was pretty much all I drank.

For instance, I would come home from a jog, tired and dehydrated having just spent a whole 20 minutes mildly exerting myself, and then I'd take long, deep pulls from a two-liter bottle, fresh and cold right out of the fridge.

Just do it.

Of course I miss Diet Coke, and I still get the urges. But it usually ends after about an hour when one of the neighbors sees me crying in the street without pants and calls the cops.

Thankfully, however, all that seems to be a thing of the past, because now there's a new virtual reality video game that lets you digitally enjoy the greatest pleasure in all the world.

It's called Soda Drinker Pro. And it's totally real.

I played it.

The game was created by 33-year-old Will Brierly of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and, like all good innovations, it was inspired by laziness.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and needed a soda," he told me via e-mail. "Unfortunately, I didn't have one, so I decided to make a simulated soda."

This is the title screen. It literally took minutes to make.

Amazingly, over the course of one day, Brierly created the first five levels of Soda Drinker Pro. Which is probably why the graphics are what some experts might call complete and utter crap.

But that's part of the Soda Drinker Pro charm. It's purposefully absurd, and, remember, this thing was built in a day.

So, the game isn't exactly Rome.

It's more like Tulsa.

And the rules are pretty simple. You walk around different environments with a virtual soda in your hand, click left to put the straw up to your mouth, and then click right to simulate drinking.

You hear the sound of draining fluid, and your soda levels deplete as you hold down the click.

And that's pretty much it. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Truth be told, I didn't actually play long enough to get past levels one and two (the beach and the park, respectively), but I'm sort of hoping that one of the now 100-plus levels is a drainage ditch in Tijuana so I can recreate some of my darkest moments with Diet Coke.

"Señor, usted está asustando a los niños."

Not sure if this is an old man with a chess board, or a young lady with a pizza. Either way, I have soda.

Now, this might all sound a bit silly, and the bad graphics and simplistic game play are fine for goofing off on your Mac or PC, but Brierly has actually taken his "first person soda" to the next legitimate level of gaming.

He proudly boasts that it has Kinect support for Xbox One, and that console will also offer exclusive levels of drinking soda throughout time.

Like the Roaring 20s. Or, say, 1972.

And Soda Drinker Pro even has Oculus Rift support.

(Note to Dad: Oculus Rift is that incredible virtual reality software Facebook bought for $2 billion.)

(Note to Dad: Facebook is that website mom is always on.)

(Note to Dad: Virtual reality is ... oh, screw it. Never mind.)

Beyond the fact that it's catching on at all -- albeit ironically -- it's also interesting that it's happening now. Brierly created the game six years ago, but it took a rather captive audience to get it off the ground.

Game designer Will Brierly with fans.

He explains, "I didn't show anyone except some friends, but last year I did a presentation of Soda Drinker Pro at a soda drinking convention in Providence."

You read that correctly.

There's literally something called the Providence Soda Club, and apparently they hold a convention.

Which, I suppose, shouldn't be that unexpected. Rhode Island is so weird. It's not even an island.

It's more like Tulsa.

Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.

      Apparently This Matters...

    • Book It turns 30

      I vaguely recall Pizza Hut's Book It elementary school reading incentive program. Though, to be fair, I vaguely remember what I had for breakfast.
    • Amputated leg lamp

      It took a lot of effort for Leo Bonten to turn his amputated leg into a fully functional lamp. For starters, he had to break the damn thing in a freak kiddie pool accident.
    • Slipping on banana peels

      If you asked me -- and God knows nobody has -- I would have to guess that never in the history of humankind has anyone ever actually slipped on a banana peel.
    • Russian space sex geckos

      Since the beginning of time, man has looked up into the cosmos at those shiny, twinkling stars and thought, "I wonder if lizards would do each other up there?"
    • A hybrid of zebra and a donkey stands at the Taigan zoo park outside Simferopol on August 5, 2014. A Crimean zoo has welcomed into its collection a "zebroid" or "zonkey" after a zebra gave birth following befriending a donkey. Named Telegraph by the keepers at the Taigan zoo park, his head and body resemble that of a donkey and are a solid beige colour, with his legs marked by black zebra stripes. Born last week, "Telegraph is very popular with visitors" who can watch him romping around with his mother, said director Oleg Zubkov. Crosses between zebras and other members of the equine family are not unheard of, although it is more unusual that the zebra is the mother. However allowing such breeding to occur is frowned upon in the zoo community. YURI LASHOV/AFP/Getty Images

      Congratulations! It's a ... zonkey?

      Despite all the political tension in Crimea, it's nice to know things are still safe enough at the zoo for a zebra to get it on with a donkey.
    • French Girls gone wild

      There's a famous scene in the movie "Titanic" where Rose turns to Jack and says, "I want you to draw me like one of your French girls."
    • Facebook bracelets at Tomorrowland

      For several months in 2003, I did the whole European backpacker thing. Which is to say I've seen nearly every cathedral within 1,000 square miles of the Danube.
    • Death metal without oxygen

      The other day I saw a death metal band hanging out by their tour van in the parking lot behind a club. They were all dressed in black, and may or may not have been working on lyrics to a new song about fire and lamb meat.
    • My Kids Suck

      There are two good reasons to own a giant trampoline.
    • Weed Fairy leaves free pot

      I never actually caught a glimpse of the Tooth Fairy when I was young, but she was definitely real and in cahoots with my mom. This, due to the fact that I never woke up to find a Nintendo.