I always looked forward to our family summer holidays at the seaside. One of the big highlights for me was being let loose to go around the amusement arcades that litter most British coastal towns, as it was one of the only chances I got each year to see the latest arcade videogames, which in those days were soooo much better than anything you could play at home (at least graphically).
One year my jaw dropped immediately when I saw Sega’s Space Harrier. There was a big crowd around the machine and rightly so, as Space Harrier was certainly a game to behold, not just because of it’s then amazing graphics, but more because of the hydraulic chair that you had to sit in to play the game.
At the time those simulator rides where you sit in a capsule and get tipped about whilst watching a piece of video (usually of a rollercoaster or a high speed car chase) and Space Harrier was basically that kind of idea scaled down to accommodate just one person.
Once strapped into the game’s chair, you had a big aircraft style joystick between your knees to grab hold of. Pulling the stick unsurprisingly moved your on screen character (a cool looking dude in red shirt and blue trousers and armed with a huge gun that also somehow enabled him to fly) but it also tipped the chair you were sitting in up, down, left and right, thus putting you off your game in the process.