Watching This TikToker’s VR PS2 Emulator Is As Close As I’ll Ever Get To A Time Machine

Watching This TikToker’s VR PS2 Emulator Is As Close As I’ll Ever Get To A Time Machine
Image: The Simpsons/20th Century Studios

TikTok user Aaron Foden has turned his VR HMD into a kind of PS2 time machine.

Foden’s virtual reality centric TikTok account has recently gone viral for his creative use of a VR PS2 emulator. Foden sits in a room that looks exactly like a teenager’s bedroom from 2003. He opens the disc tray on a virtual PlayStation 2, drops a Simpsons Hit & Run disc into the tray, and closes it again. He runs the familiar red, white, and yellow RGB cables to an era-appropriate CRT television. He turns it on, producing the familiar cathode hum, and takes a seat on a couch in front of it.

@foden313 Feels so good to play this game again ❤️ #thesimpsonsgame #thesimpsonshitandrun #thesimpsons #oculusquest2 #quest2 #metaquest2 #foden313 #oldgames #ps2 ♬ original sound – Aaron Foden

The game boots, and Foden plays it. It’s the PS2 experience exactly as I remember it: squinting at a reflective CRT screen in a poorly lit room with South Park posters on the wall.

VR has specialised in this kind of experience for years — it’s incredibly easy to find VR apps that will put you in movie theatres or at music venues. The EmuVR app takes that idea a single step further by adding interactivity.

Other VR versions of PS2 games Foden has played for his TikTok are Grand Theft Auto: San AndreasMortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Burnout 3: Takedown, and even Super Mario Bros on an emulated NES.

@foden313 The noglastia is unreal 🥺 #burnout #oldgames #ps2 #noglastia #oculusquest2 #oculus #gaming #gamingontiktok #trending #burnout3 #playstation2 ♬ original sound – Aaron Foden

As you can see, it’s as much about solidly emulating beloved games as it is about recreating the settings in which those games would have been played. What a strange little side street in the world of video game history and preservation. We talk a lot about filters that accurately recreate the screen conditions that older games were designed for, but rarely about the kinds of spaces they were typically played in.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down video game memory lane.

[foden313 on TikTok]

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