If wheel building were introduced today, but as a game, would it be popular? No VR but plenty of action: thrill of pursuit, unforeseen obstacles, counter moves by invisible players, presence of a formidable adversary, satisfaction of success.
Plus, the outcome can be ridden. Ka-ching! Wheel building has always been a game and its unpredictable challenges attract agile problem solvers. For many, the challenge of wheel building is compelling. Dependent variables exponentially increase system complexity. Tensioned wire wheels are elusive, almost intelligent, always unique competitors.