photos by Steven K. Roberts
Camp Swig above Saratoga, CA
October 29, 1988

I have donated the originals of these two photos to the Computer History Museum, but also wanted to place them in my timeline here… a moment at a conference of übergeeks. This is Nolan Bushnell (founder of Atari) playing with the VPL EyePhone (the first Virtual Reality goggles) created by Jaron Lanier, and the fellow in the background is Larry Wall (author of the Perl language). If you want a glimpse of the VR technology represented in this image, there is a YouTube video here from 1990.

As an Oculus Quest 2 owner way down the road over 30 years later, I find these historical images especially delightful. I remember when I had my turn… and the sense of huge implications as I flailed at the pixelated ball. I certainly didn’t imagine In Death Unchained, Beat Saber, and Google Earth VR.

Nolan Bushnell using EyePhone in 1988, Larry Wall looking on

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  1. […] the EyePhone, by Jaron Lanier (VPL). In addition to trying it myself, I was fortunate enough to get a photo of Atari’s Nolan Bushnell playing racquetball, with Larry Wall (who later wrote the Perl […]