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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Virtual Reality Video Game  
  A description of a computer game simulation played in real time as entertainment.  

Forrester is several hundred years behind the times; a small boy demonstrates the entertainment and simulation capabilities of the view-walls in his parent's apartment.

At once the cluttered children's room disappeared...

...Forrester and the two children were seated in the bridge of a spaceship. The toys were gone, the furnishings replaced by bright metal instruments...

Forrester could not repress his admiration for the perfection of the illusion. Everything was there, everything but the heat and the feeling of motion - and, gazing at the images around him, Forrester could almost feel the surge and shudder of their ship as it responded to the boy's touch at the controls. Clearly, they were part of a squadron on some adventurous, unspecified mission... A spatter of command signals came forth through the speaker as the other "ships" talked back and forth. A panel showed their position in plan and elevation as they swam through the stripped-atom gases of Mira Ceti's ocean of fire.

Forrester cleared his throat. "Would you mind telling me exactly what we just did?" he asked.

The boy put on his patient expression. "It was a simulated mission against the Sirian exploring party in the chromosphere of Mira Ceti... Basically a real observation, but with the contact between our ship and theirs variably emended.

From The Age of The Pussyfoot, by Frederik Pohl.
Published by Ballantine in 1966
Additional resources -

Note the use of an inset panel that shows different views of the user's ship in relation to its surroundings.

When Forrester asks his own joymaker how the device works, it responds as follows:

"The phenomenon you are currently inspecting, Man Forrester, is a photic projection on a vibratory curtain. An interference effect produces a virtual image on the surface of an optical sphere with the nexus of yourself and your companions as its geometric center. This particular contruct is an edited and simplified reproduction of scansion of a Sirian exploration vessel in a stellar atmosphere..."

Compare this to the Saga simulation from Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 novel The City and the Stars, the reference for cyberspace, by William Gibson, the virtual matrix from The Judas Mandala (1982) by Damien Broderick and the Saga simulation from Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 novel The City and the Stars. Note also the DreamTime Scleral Contact Lenses From The California Voodoo Game (1992) by Larry Niven (w/S. Barnes). Also, see the The Veldt from Ray Bradbury's work.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Age of The Pussyfoot
  More Ideas and Technology by Frederik Pohl
  Tech news articles related to The Age of The Pussyfoot
  Tech news articles related to works by Frederik Pohl

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