Combined with the collapse and sale of Virtuality, even arcade-based VR disappeared, leading to the technology being shelved as far as gaming went.
However, what few of us recall is that home Virtual Reality did happen back in the 90s - sort of - in the form of the VictorMaxx Stuntmaster. This head-mounted display, released in the US in 1993, was compatible with both the Super NES and Sega Genesis.
Digitiser will be doing a review of this abomination on our YouTube channel in the not-too-distant, but today... the focus is on the Stuntmaster packaging.
Which, as you'll, was seemingly put together by what we can only presume was some drug-crazed, hyperactive, psychopath...
So far so ordinary, but let's take a closer look...
Let's put the random capitalisation aside, and forget about the fact that this wasn't Virtual Reality in any shape or form, but a little TV screen shoved into a heavy and uncomfortable pair of goggles. Let's not even give a thought to the promise of "Reality" for the "Masses".
No... let us focus instead upon the final sentence there: "Dare you step forward, Cheeze ball?"
Is it common for consumer electronics to threaten, goad, and insult their customers - right there on the packaging!? I mean, it's a bold strategy to be sure, but a wise one...?
Would this work for Dyson if they started calling their customers "idiots"?
"Your point-of-view instantly scrolls or rotates with the turn of YOUR head, YOUR movement! (and I'm loving' ya, babe!)"
Again - sorry - but... what?! Who has written this? Why are they saying these things? They've gone from insulting to proclaiming love.
Where will this gaslighting end?!
So... wait... what's the insinuation there in that second paragraph? What are they trying to say with that? Why is the user of said Stuntmaster headset being sent to their room?
Why the blandly-stated "Okay."?
"Hell-o! - (You don't need a TV anymore!)
I can see it in your eyes...
I can see it in your smile...
You're all I've ever wanted,
And my arms are open wide,
'Cause you know just what to say,
And you know just what to do,
And I want to tell you so much...
Lovin ya, babe!"
It gets weirder still when you flip the box on its end...
What? Hunh? WHAT?!???
"Victormaxx surges to the rescue, offering you The Great VIRTUAL REALITY Escape... Unleash the power of this quantum advance in video gaming technology... and I mean it!"
Mean what? What do you mean?! And who even are you!?
A disturbing, tragic world, yours?!???
What does that have to do with anything? What is the meaning of this?!? What's going on?!
"Step forward, grab your STUNTMASTER and prepare for the onslaught! Race the car! Fly the jet! wear that shirt!"
Wear that shirt? What shirt? Did whoever wrote this think that there were video games in which you had to in some way don a shirt?!
The proverbial "shirt 'em up", perhaps??
And that's just on the outside of the box. The device also came with a bizarre "Confidential Resume" for VictorMaxx - who we learn is a person - as "Prepared by his terrorised staff"...
He never admits to having a childhood, but one friend (now deceased) "told of his walking along the beach at sunset playing fetch with the black Labrador he never had, and holding hands with the father he never knew, in Virtual Reality".
We also learn that he ran away from home when "Victoria" (his mother, VictoriaMaxx) refused to allow him to apply for a Virtual Reality patent.
His personal heroes are Machiavelli, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and himself, while his philosophy of life compels him thus: "We must pursue our dreams; From the womb to the tomb, zoom!"
Probably not through choice, I'd wager.
Which, in a way, is a shame, but you can't really blame them. I'd imagine things were a lot quieter around the VictorMaxx offices by then...