Button Mashing Vol 1

Button Mashing: Virtual Boy

By: Kyle Groulx

When the prospect of a weekly column came about, I sat in silence as the others discussed the endless possibilities of what their columns could be. Brilliant people working together to find topics of discussion that best suited their individual interests, as well as the interests of the masses. As the topic carried on, I sat and thought about my career. Weird, right? The opportunity laid out in front of me to brainstorm great ideas for this site, with talented people, and I’m foolishly pondering my work. It was almost instinctual for me to associate what I do with what I love, and a column was the perfect outlet to express exactly what that means. I guess it’s funny that my mind chose to make that connection, because that’s what prompted me to take to my laptop and paint a verbal picture for you all. I help manage an independently owned video game retailer, and therein lies my column.  

Video game fans, Atomic Geekdom enthusiasts, or people with some extra time on their hands looking for a quick read… Take a trip with me into the vast world of gaming, from retro to new gen, from Zelda to Masterchief, I’m here to talk all things gaming, driven by real world experiences from inside the madness at the heart of a gaming store. The fun thing about our store is we deal with all games, from Virtual Boy to Colecovision, Xbox One to Playstation One, and everything in between. I’m here to talk about the classics, the oddities and rarities from the deepest corners of gaming history, and anything and everything that sends you down a path fueled by nostalgia and intrigue. 

This past week I spent time with one of Nintendo’s most obscure / abstract consoles that ever made it to market, the Virtual Boy. Hidden in the murky waters of gaming history, the Virtual Boy had been surrounded with mixed reviews early on inevitably leading to its removal from the market. The Virtual Boy had one of the shortest shelf lives of any Nintendo product past or present. Selling only 770,00 consoles during its short life span, It’s a shame to still see all the mixed signals towards something so interesting. The console itself was built to demonstrate Nintendos ability to come up with new, creative innovations that would, down the road, make Nintendo one of the most recognizable names in gaming spanning multiple generations. The Virtual Boy may not be one of the most recognizable products to bare the Nintendo name, but it’s a milestone from the Nintendo past that shaped the vision and creativity of the business itself, which deserves a thanks or two. 

The Virtual Boy is in essence, an oculus rift from the past. A virtual reality simulation experience for everyone to enjoy. How crazy is that? You use the Virtual Boy like a set of goggles mounted on a tripod which displays the game image when you look into it, all while using a Z axis style controller to simulate 3D style movements in a 3D environment. I couldn’t think of a time in my 25 years on earth where anyone had even indicated to me that the Virtual Boy existed. Living that long oblivious to the existence of something only to have it placed directly in front of you with no warning is exhilarating. I set up the console, learned of the intricacies and specifics of it hands on, and it couldn’t have been a more enjoyable experience. 

The Virtual Boy is a fascinating piece of gaming history, and just one of many interesting things I’ll be discussing week to week. Nostalgia driven gaming awesomeness spanning lifetimes, share your favorite gaming experiences, your awesome retro collections you’ve spent years putting together, or how excited you are for Halo 5 on October 27th. ( I may be a little excited myself) Bringing you gaming info old and new with a personalized twist, I look forward to highlighting all this and more for all to see on a weekly basis.  

You can follow Kyle on Twitter: @KwG311

Entertainment Earth