V-Rtifacts

Tag Archive: 1996

Is It VR Yet?

Harvey Newquist tires of waiting for the New York Post headline to scream: “Wife Dumps Husband For Cybersex Lover” or “Computer Casanova Seduces Virtual Valerie.”

Money quote:

Does the average person get to see or use any of this stuff? Can you go any place just experience the joys of VR? Is Ronald Reagan in full control of his senses? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic “no.” … Try asking your next-door neighbor about VR. Ask him or her about their most recent VR experience.

Has anything changed in the 15 years since this 1996 article was published in the Virtual Reality Special Report?

PDF Here

The Games That Would Be King

From 1991 to 1996 W Industries Virtuality systems defined the image of VR in the location based entertainment arena. Here in the US, Horizon Entertainment was their sole distributor. W Industries was remarkably innovative with their use of technology, but their “innovations” in finances were not so successful. Arcade operators had a difficult time breaking even; motivated by their IPO, W extended credit to these operators to bolster their sales figures; and by 1996 W was in receivership leaving stockholders and vendors less than whole.

However… Virtuality, first using an Amiga platform and later a 486 PC, achieved a remarkable quality of game play for those early years. This collection of videos will give you a flavor. Thanks go out to Fronzel who generously compiled many of these. Watch! (more…)

Aftershock and a Fashion Emergency

On it’s way to the Whistlestop, this VR system (1 of 10 on tour) makes a stop at Louisville’s channel 32 early, early morning show. Perfect makeup notwithstanding, I don’t think the host was thinking that anything below the belt would be on camera. She wore the wrong skirt, for sure. These VR systems were promoting an intoxicant dubbed Aftershock. Scott, who wrote the code for the VR game speculated that the stuff was intended for sterilizing combs. Nonetheless, the combo of VR and shooter girls at the thousands of bars this tour visited made moved cases and cases of the stuff. And… don’t forget to hit the Whistlestop tonight!

Aftershock

Meet My Friend “Ralph”

Simulator Sickness and the lingering effects of Virtual Reality, drunken behavior in particular, are the subject of this Brian Williams NBC special from 1996. Brian’s teaser: “When they were first unveiled, the science of it all was staggering, but now there’s some evidence it’s having a staggering effect… on some who use it…” A typical industry shill (me) attempts to refute these staggering claims!