Video proof that controller-less games were also crap in the 80s

Call us old-fashioned, but we prefer to play our games with a controller. Arm waving in front of a camera is a little too much like, well, waving your arms about in front of a camera. The novelty of seeing ourselves on TV and pretending to hit things that aren't there wore off at around the 23 second mark during our first go with the original PS2 EyeToy. Screw that.

And if footage from 80s US TV show, Total Panic, is anything to go by, this most miserable of gaming pursuits has always been intangibly rubbish. The game's called Eat-a-Bug, it's a showcase of 'pioneering' virtual technology running on an Amiga and it looks terrible. In fact, it looks exactly like an EyeToy game from the space year 2003. You can watch it here.

Above: His face is practically bleeding excitement

After some casual searching on YouTube, we found more examples of the technology in action. We think it's now the 90s, but apart from that, not much has changed. It still looks like a patently sub-par investment of time. The best/worst example is probably 'Virtual Volleyball'. Watch it and be grateful that this kind of thing never took off in a big way:

It's like watching fish out of water. Fish with arms and legs, that is. Fish with arms and legs that are suffering some kind of impairment to their central nervous system. But never fear, at least Natal's going to be way better than all this flailing about. Right?

As a patron of the Great Britain, my personal fondest memory of virtual reality on TV predates Total Panic by several years. Probably no one remembers Knightmare, but it was pretty rad back in the day. Especially when the kids giving the orders didn't know their left from their right. Observe:

HAHA! He went the wrong way and fell down the hole! TV didn't get any better than that in the 80s. Seriously. It didn't.

Thanks to Facebook user Tasos Akridopolos for bringing the Total Panic footage to our attention.

April 23, 2010


  • Cyberninja - April 24, 2010 4:28 p.m.

    wow i feel bad for that kid in the picture but aleast he doesnt smell like pizza.
  • Erwin - April 24, 2010 4:07 p.m.

    "Ooooooh, nahhhsty."
  • philipshaw - April 24, 2010 12:40 p.m.

    That virual volleyball video couldn't be any more 90's if it tried, it even has a gutair solo playing in the background!
  • GodofPS314 - April 23, 2010 8:09 p.m.

    Oh my god... virtual volleyball! Like playing real volleyball with no excercise, fn, and it costs alot more. YEAH!
  • ventanger - April 23, 2010 5:14 p.m.

    "Sidestep to your left" "What?! Are you insane there's a hole AHHHH!!!"
  • moonwalk_mafia - April 23, 2010 3:45 p.m.

    I know this wasn't in the 80's but still, I can't believe that you guys haven't made any Natal comparisons to that old Nickelodeon show Nick Arcade, where in the last event they'd be running in place like idiots and slapping coins in the air. Cmon now Gamesradar
  • db1331 - April 23, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    That show looks like the place where dreams go to die.
  • GLCoolJ - April 23, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    What boggles my mind about that Knightmare video is the fact that those kids appear to be in their teens, so there's no bloody excuse for not knowing left from right.
  • LordsOfTechno - April 23, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    Wow that kid looks like he wants to kill someone in that image! Also, I remember Knightmare although I was only young when they took it off-air, I managed to watch the repeats. Since the announcement of Project Natal, I've always wished for a game like Knightmare, complete with the silly bucket-helmet. Just imagine yourself blind as a bat while your mates acted like idiots telling you to go the wrong way or showing themselves up because they can't spell "Shroud", it would be awesome! Or maybe that's just the nostalgia talking...
  • 2dboy - April 23, 2010 2 p.m.

    The kid face in the picture is priceless XD

Showing 1-10 of 10 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000