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John Carmack and Gabe Newell Are Very Excited About This Virtual Reality Gaming Headset.

A guy with the terrific name Palmer Luckey wants to finally make a great virtual reality gaming head-mounted display. Some guys behind some terrific games think you should help fund it.

This is the Oculus Rift, a VR headset that we heard about in June at E3 when Doom co-creator and master programmer John Carmack started talking up Lucky's headset. Carmack had a makeshift version, which he used to show an updated version of Doom 3. I tried it, and it was impressive.


So, given that it's the year 2012, the next logical step is that there's a Kickstarter to make the Oculus Rift a reality. Spare $250,000, Internet folks?


As you'll see in the Kickstarter project video, Carmack continues to support the tech, as do Valve's Gabe Newell and Michael Abrash and top folks at Epic and Unity, both of whom say their industry-leading graphics engines will work with it.

Watch the video for some demonstrations of the Rift's supposed superiority over other VR headsets. Luckey is promising negligible latency, 3D and a panoramic field of view. I saw all of this myself when I tried it at Carmack's behest back at E3. It's cool. Why does such well-made tech that is verbally supported by such important gaming people need a Kickstarter? Supposedly, it's to help fund development kits or at least speed the creation of them. A commercial version, for regular games, is, the Kickstarter post indicates: "a ways down the road."

This Kickstarter was launched this morning, a day before the kick-off of QuakeCon which is the official, open-to-the-public convention for Carmack's id Software and parent publisher Bethesda. Id's new version of Doom 3, the BFG Edition will support the Rift and is slated for release this October. The Rift is already 1/3 pledged toward the $250,000 goal.


Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game [Kickstarter]

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Look. Mr. Carmack, - can I call you John? Ok. - you've made a whole lot of Doom and Quake games, with a couple Wolfenstein's sprinkled in for good measure. But, truth be told, you haven't really had something new in... well, decades. I think you need something new and shiny.

Now John, I know what you're going to say already. I know! Trust me, I know. You made Rage, and that was brand new! However... It was a good game, but it wasn't good enough. It had so much build up, because your name is so big. Fame is scary like that. I know, it's ok. Making something truly new is scary, but being judged as somebody who is supposed to be a peerless designer is even scarier. It was a stumbling block. But... give it another go, you know?

For us gamers' sake.

The Dooms and the Quakes are just feeling a little old hat, that's all. Go have a beer on me, John.