This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is

Virtual reality sure is cute. And, yes, I do mean that in the most condescending way possible.

Advertisement

Look, I understand just how cool the Oculus Rift may seem to my tech nerd brothers and sisters. And I shouldn't judge something before I've tried it. But every time someone tells me how awesome this cutting-edge virtual reality technology is supposed to be, I can't help but see every old VR headset of the 1980s and 90s flash in front of my eyes.

Advertisement

I'm doing my best to overcome my (many) biases against today's VR tech. And maybe finally strapping one on will do the trick, since my last VR-like experience was probably testing out the Nintendo Virtual Boy at my local Target almost 20 years ago. But there's something almost inherently retro-futuristic about virtual reality headgear.

It feels like the wrong application for a technology that should be baked directly into our brains by now or something. This is the second decade of the 21st century, isn't it? Even if Oculus Rift is the absolute pinnacle of VR technology, it still looks like a goofy throwback.

Anyways, here's a little visual sample of the retro-futuristic fever dream I experience every time I hear the words Oculus Rift ringing in my ears.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Anheuser-Busch's virtual reality game at a food marketing expo in Chicago in 1993.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A man trying out VR tech in the Sci-Fi Channel's booth at the 1993 National Cable Television convention in San Francisco.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A marketing spokesman at VPL Research in Redwood City, demonstrating a VR simulation of driving a car in 1990.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A group of people testing out the Vfx1 headgear at Comdex in Las Vegas in 1995.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Newt Gingrich testing some virtual reality headgear at the "Cyber Suite" inside the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles in 1996.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A woman trying out the "Reality +" system at the Virtual Reality Systems show in New York in 1993.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Visitors experience a "virtual reality performance" at the IAA in Frankfurt in 1997.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A visitor tries out a VR headset to see the features of the Nissan Primera at the 1996 Paris Auto Show.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Testing out a VR skiing program at the NEC Corp lab in Tokyo in 1992.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

The Duchess of York playing a Sega virtual reality game called "Space Mission" in London in 1996.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

People trying out the Dynovisor VR headset at the 1996 Tokyo Toy Show.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Defense training applications are shown off at a 1997 military conference in Singapore.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

Visitors try out VR glasses at the 1995 International Electronic Fair in Berlin.

Illustration for article titled This Is What I See Every Time You Tell Me How Cool Oculus Rift Is
Advertisement

A Toshiba employees wearing an enormous prototype headgear in 2006.


Images via the Associated Press

Advertisement

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

norwoodismyhero
NorwoodIsMyHero

And maybe finally strapping one on will do the trick, since my last VR-like experience was probably testing out the Nintendo Virtual Boy at my local Target almost 20 years ago.


It sounds like you might be letting the resulting bout with pink-eye cloud how you view virtual reality devices.

Actually probably not. Virtual reality has always seemed like one of those things that tech people make every now and then just so that when they get the non-tech fuddie-duddies like Newt Gingrich to try it on they can snicker in the background at how easy it is to wow them.