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Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future 
In 1991, VR got real (goofy).
This post is part of a longform project I’m serializing exclusively in my newsletter, Disruptor. It’s a follow-up to my first book, Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Built an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture, and it’s called Masters of Disruption: How the Gamer Generation Built the Future. You can find the table of contents, as it unfolds, here.
1991 gave us a lot of great things: Twin Peaks. Barton Fink. Nirvana’s Nevermind. And giant virtual reality helmets awkwardly strapped to awestruck news reporters’ heads. Last week, I spoke with game designer Tom Hall about the future of VR. For him and others, the big bang of VR started in 1991. That year, Sega announced (but later canned) its home VR system, Sega VR. Dactyl Nightmare, an arcade shoot ‘em up, infiltrated strip malls. And the VR sci-fi movie, The Lawnmower Man, was soon coming to big screens. As this vintage ABC Primetime Live segment from September 1991 puts it, “All it takes is a special helmet and a glove, and your off!”