For any of you who remember the 90’s– Virtual Reality was supposed to be a total sensory immersion, a fabricated computer world so convincing that it would nearly fool your brain into believing it was real. For most of the decade, and part of this last decade, Virtual Reality was always “just around the corner.” And of course, it never came. The technology was never really there.

WDITOT

I was an impressionable 11 year old when I first read about Virtual Reality in Monica Hughes’ teen thriller “Invitation to the Game”

If you can’t tell from the cover – the book was thrilling and filled with wacky “out of this world” apocalyptic storylines. I loved it. Ate it with a giant future-lovin spoon. Following that novel experience, I kept my eye out for this cutting-edge virtual reality technology that was “just around the corner”.

Sure…maybe if you live in Japan. Otherwise, virtual reality technology has pretty much been a string of embarrassing failures.

The “space pad” approach

The “helmet” approach

The “bubble boy” approach

Yep, 20 years and counting and this is about as far as we’ve gotten. Personally the closest I’ve ever come is my Virtual Dating experience which, actually, was extremely realistic. I mean, my date had terrible breath and my wallet was empty after the fact, which all felt very realistic to me.

Maybe there is a secret underground virtual reality scene that I just don’t know about. Is the army hiding this technology from us or something? I want to know who to blame. I know of at least one artist in the world who sympathizes with that fact that we were promised jetpacks and this Wii Bowling crap just isn’t going to cut it.

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