“It seemed to me that what [players] wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine.”
… I remember walking past a video arcade, which was a new sort of business at that time, and seeing kids playing those old-fashioned console-style plywood video games.
The games had a very primitive graphic representation of space and perspective.
Some of them didn’t even have perspective but were yearning toward perspective and dimensionality.
Even in this very primitive form, the kids who were playing them were so physically involved, it seemed to me that what they wanted was to be inside the games, within the notional space of the machine.
The real world had disappeared for them — it had completely lost its importance.
They were in that notional space, and the machine in front of them was the brave new world.
— William Gibson interview @ Paris Review
Gibson is speaking of the early 1980’s — the era leading up Neuromancer.