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The Top 7... failed futures of gaming

The promise

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, wewould be able tojack 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 excitementover 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 ofthe 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.

Each and every one will (not) change the way we play games

We've had the ideas. Can someone make them now please?

The art, science, and tragic history of the greatest gaming innovation known to man

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.