The late Douglas Adams wrote, produced, and co-starred in this seriously kind-of-awesome documentary for British TV called Hyperland. It was produced in 1990, and foretells of an amazing future where you (yes, you!) can access all sorts of information, images, and ideas through a miraculous new invention called “hypertext!” (or, as some people call it, “the Interwebs.”)
It’s very retro-cool, in that way that “visions of the future circa 1989” are retro-cool; lots of neon colors and realistic full color graphics that move on their own (yowza yowza). And did you know, in the miraculous future of 2005, we’ll be able to do all of this from our home computers through…. virtual reality???
Dude, what even happened to virtual reality? There’s Second Life, but that involves a) sitting at my computer and not wearing a goofy helmet, b) severe lag time, and c) furries. There was Virtual Boy, which gave you a headache after 15 minutes. Oh, and there was a brief period in 1995/1996 where people actually played virtual reality games, sort of. I did, once. I played Virtual Space Invaders at the Cybercafe in Quincy Market, and it was pretty awesome. Sort of expensive, though. Ah well. The future ain’t what it used to be.
All snark aside, it is sort of wonderful how, within the last fifteen years or so, the concept of instant access to audio/visual information has gone from “oh look! the Louvre has one of those ‘world wide websites’, and in a few minutes, we’ll be able to see a picture of the Mona Lisa!” to the age of lolzcats and viral video, where the free flow of information just sort of… is. Hyperland gets a lot of stuff right, which is what’s so cool about it: it’s “what the future used to look like”, but it’s pretty close to what we have now.
However, I doubt you have Tom Baker living inside your laptop.