The future of video games, a technological quantum shift for industry, design, architecture and medical training, and basically the evolution of the whole human experience. Via a few simple headsets and some magical robo-gloves, we would be able to jack straight into realistic digital worlds, exploring, manipulating and even feeling them in first-person as if we were really there. Spurred on (if not wholly inspired by) the Cyberpunk movement of '90s science fiction, Virtual Reality was going to make sure our lives were never the same again.
The crushing reality
Above: The Lawnmower Man lied!
Everyone got so drunk with excitement over this brave new world that they stumbled, tripped over the facts, and smashed their faces straight into the hard brick wall of actual reality, quickly landing in a big pile of blood and vomit.
The brickwork that made up that wall o' truth? The fact that VR as we envisioned it would require prohibitively expensive technology a hundred years in advance of our own, infinitely big living rooms filled with very soft furnishings, and the existential degradation of the human soul. The substance of the vomit? The only 'virtual reality' console to ever make it to market, Nintendo's retina-burning Virtual Boy. Evolution of human existence? No. It was a 3D Gameboy with red graphics. Yum.
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