Mana-Sama's Nostalgic Game Inferno Part 7
Its that time of the month again, I just finished translating, so please enjoy!!

Photo Caption:
I wonder if 3D is a bad omen?

Mana-Sama's Nostalgic game inferno

Part 7: Virtual Boy

Company: Nintendo
Release Date: July 21, 1995
Retail Price: 15,000 yen

In some way or another I have crossed the path of the topic of 3D images.
Society is now seeing a state of the prosperity in 3D, and as a Game console enthusiast it brings me to recall the aloof 3D game console, the "Virtual Boy"…….

My first experience with 3D was when I was a very young child.
If I'm not mistaken, it was the start of it's research, and you could view things from red and blue cellophane glasses. Then when I was a teenager, I went to see "Jaws 3" in 3D at the movie theater. It was the first 3D movie I ever saw. In my own personal experience, the intensity of the images popping out in front of my eyes still burns in my mind even now. "If 3D is the new thing, we must be experiencing the future," at least thats what I felt when I was a child.

After that, the first magnificent 3D game console was introduced by Nintendo. This red unit was the dazzling Virtual Boy. With a futuristic control pad, a unique unit design, its not an exaggeration when I say it had the looks of a futuristic game console.

I had my first encounter with the Virtual Boy during the early days of MALICE MIZER, when we were doing a live tour in Osaka.

I was getting ready in the dressing room, when a staff came in saying "You have a present from a fan" and was holding the Virtual Boy!

Although it was well known among fans that I love games, it was a completely unexpected present. I accepted it, and I remember immediately as I was gathering my image together in the dressing room I unveiled it.

The Virtual Boy, although somewhat large, was an independent game console with its own monitor. The fan who gave me the present also included the game "Red Alarm" so I could play it right away. How thoughtful.
Then at once, with my heart pounding I put on the Virtual Boy goggles for the first time.

So, the Virtual Boy was a type of gaming console with a screen built for one person. I was cut off from the real world before my eyes and reached into the 3D space. What a concept……. Yokoi Gumpei, who created big hits such as Game & Watch and the Game boy, was no ordinary person!

If I were to speak fundamentally about the game screen, the 3D space was constructed of a jet black center with a bright red frame. Until then a screen with this depth had never existed for games to be able to experience the mysterious 3D world.

It was my first time to witness the mysterious world in this three-dimensional depth. From there my attraction to the gaming world changed.

However, all the Virtual Boy's games were completely in black and red. The three-dimensional world was only in 2 colors, so allies, backgrounds, enemies, etc all appeared to overlap. It was hard to advance in games because I couldn't tell what's what, so I got the feeling of being trapped in an inner mind trip. If I continued to play games on it for a long time I would feel tired and weak.

I should say as a result, in spite of the Virtual Boy's flourishing debut, it quickly stalled. However, I want to acknowledge the value of that sort of originality to come out in a game console for that period in time.

Also, in recent years Nintendo has debuted the 3DS, which has dispelled that regret! The degree of public interest of being able to see 3D with the naked eye was amazing, but now they are in the middle of desperate reinforcement by having to do drastic price cuts and such. I hope this situation doesn't become like the Virtual Boy all over again.

Translations by Sarah @


I just have to say, as a person who grew up on video games like Mana, typically I find these Game Labo columns he writes particularly interesting because many times I can relate.

Anyway, the point is this one in particular sparked my interest because Mana talks about 3D games but starts off with 3D history in movies.

In my personal reflection, it brought back memories to my own childhood when 3D films weren't particularly popular by any means and you did have to wear the red and blue cellophane glasses. I remember when I was extremely young (maybe about 3-4 years old?) I would go to my aunt's house all the time (she lived next door) and would watch 3D videos she owned with those glasses. Even though the movies were painstakingly old fashioned, as in they were from the 50's and 60's, I thought it was the coolest thing ever simply because of the 3D effect!

Now days however, I'm increasingly impressed with the development of 3D.
I guess Mana has a valid stand point that from the gaming perspective 3D hasn't gotten quite there yet, but for some years now I have consistently said that one day we're going to be able to view things in 3D without glasses even -- and I really do believe that. Right now if you go to the movie theaters, half the movies are shown in 3D and I've noticed even within the past couple years the quality has been improving drastically.

Its a shame though, because I still think not many people care so much to watch 3D films, which honestly boggles my mind. I go see movies in 3D every chance I get!

Having said that, when you think about all the advancements made within movie theaters, and even 3D TV sets now being introduced to the market, I think its only a matter of time before we see a better quality in 3D video games.

Going even further, Autostereograms have been around for sooo many years now:

(Click the thumbnail to see the full size image)

In this photo, if you focus correctly you should see two jumping dolphins.

As a child, I distinctly remember looking at these on newspapers and sometimes on the back of cereal or cookie boxes and I'd get so excited when I would notice the image.

But these things have been around for years, and if we can train the eye to see something pop out as a 3D object on paper, then whats stopping us from being able to see 3D objects in an even more advanced light?

So look how far we've come. I think we have the tools to do it, we just have to spend a little more time figuring it out. As far as video games go, fist the wii offered a new form of interactive gaming, now Xbox has the kinect. With that in mind, I think 3D will eventually happen and it will probably take gaming into an entirely new level, especially if we can find a way to interact with the 3D images even more. I'm thinking maybe eventually we'll be able to play video games with holograms or something. Even though things like that aren't advancing nearly as fast as 3D, its getting there, and one day I really believe gaming and movies are going to be a totally different experience as they develop further.

Anyway, if you're interested in this kind of topic don't be afraid to comment your thoughts on here as well!!

hey :D

i received my confirmation mail yesterday!! did you also get yours?^^

ahh, you new profile pic is cute!
the wig suits you very well :D
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