View-Master Interactive Vision
Image: View-Master Ideal Group

The View-Master Interactive Vision is a system that we're guessing not a lot of our readers will be aware of.

It was introduced in 1988 by the toy company View-Master Ideal Group and used technology originally created by a New York technology manufacturer named ACTV to provide players with interactive games that took advantage of the VHS format.

How this worked is that players would connect the console to a VCR and be able to watch one of the seven specially produced VHS tapes, which were all based on incredibly well-known children's properties, like Sesame Street, The Muppets, and Disney cartoons. This tape would then play as normal before eventually prompting players to use the console's controller (comprised of a joystick and five colourful buttons) to partake in some simple interactive games that resembled Colecovision titles.

The reason we're bringing this all up now? Well, it seems that a group of archivists, led by Garrett Gilchrist, have been busy restoring these tapes and making them available on DVD/MP4 formats and that an effort is currently underway to make these games playable again through emulation.

Gilchrist recently announced this in a thread on Twitter, where he stated he has now finished posting high-quality remasters of all seven games over on, including Disney Cartoon Arcade, Oscars Letter Party, Magic on Sesame Street, Let's Play School, Let's Learn to Play Together, Muppet Madness, and Muppet Studios Presents: You're the Director. He also revealed that the coder Sean Riddle, meanwhile, has dumped and analyzed the game console hardware, hinting that in the future it may be possible to play these games without the original machine.

We've reached out to Gilchrist to find out more about the effort, which apparently started close to 10 years ago, and will hopefully be able to share an interview with the archivist soon.

[source, via]