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VR In The ’80s May Have Looked Something Like This

by Upload • February 20th, 2016

Editor’s Note: Some of us have been waiting a very long time for VR. These images and the below text by Damien Labonte help underscore just how long a wait it has been. We’re excited to share his work here on UploadVR.

Imagine what could have been if VR got a headstart to success in the early ’80s? George Plimpton would have been extolling the virtues of IntelliVR’s high-class materials and sophistication over Atari VR’s lesser graphic capabilities. However, perhaps it’s better we had to wait until now, as I can’t imagine the blinding simulator sickness that would come with a 20 degree FOV and 30hz screen. Plus they would probably perma-burn the high score on your retinas and warp your neck vertebrae with their weighty CRT displays.

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A lot of indie developers have a retro aesthetic on their minds when it comes to developing their games (Null of Hope, Vektron Revenge, Oculus Arcade, Viral, etc). This can be attributed to the fact that simple graphics are easier to make for small teams. But for me, and perhaps for my fellow devs, the desire to go old-school comes from a desire to return to a time when vivid imaginations played a much larger role in expanding horizons like they did for those games of yesteryear.

Back then, there was an unknown potential to games. Plugging in a fresh dust-blown cartridge, where the only tutorial given was to “Press Start”, is so unlike the handholding of the much more complicated games of today. Or, perhaps, we were just dumb kids with no other choice than to play Adventure on the Atari and pretend that giant pixel was a dungeon warrior.

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We have suffered a long time waiting for that initial dream of VR to reach our living rooms, enveloping us with its Tron-ish Lawnmower Man landscapes, only to have it blow away in the wind.

But now, at last, we are building those landscapes for ourselves.

It’s about time too.

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