The unexpected forefather of music games

The Commodore 64 game Moondust (1983) is best remembered as a software programming experiment that helped launch the career of its creator, Jaron Lanier—an eccentric polymath who many now consider one of the earliest and foremost pioneers of virtual reality. But it might be better acknowledged as the progenitor of the modern music game. Lanier used the capital he generated with Moondust to found VPL Research, a company that conducted some of the first virtual reality machine-building efforts in the mid-1980s. Since then, his rigorously exploratory ethos has informed his wide-ranging body of work, which has included enterprises as diverse…


Valve’s mad-scientist tinkerer Jeri Ellsworth has left the building. Now she can get back to inventing amazing things!

Valve certainly aren’t gun-shy about ousting their best-known talent. Though critics and fans admiration of Portal approached adulation, designer Kim Swift soon parted ways with the company. And you might have heard that after only a year Jeri Ellsworth — the quirky electric engineer who began her career building race cars — is out the door.  But why dwell on the negative? Jeri is an insanely talented woman and will no doubt soon find employment elsewhere. We thought we’d take the moment to marvel at the ingenuity of her creative spirit.  – – – Because Half-Life 2 is always better when you’re…