Remember When MTV Created a Virtual Lower East Side?

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 at 10:00 am by

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Virtual Max Fish

Remember that time when MTV created a virtual Lower East Side landscape? Yup. Back in mid-2007, the colossal media company unveiled what it called vLES, a forum for computer-bound folk to explore the “mecca of all things creative” without the need to leave the house. Within this loose interpretation of the neighborhood, avatars could interact with each other and frequent venues predominantly situated in Hell Square. A promo video at the time described it as experiencing “what it’s like to be a New York local with bands and fellow music fans all over the world.”

Of course, there were plenty of geographical discrepancies and inconsistencies with the virtual world. Streets don’t align properly, and the architectural composition is a bit out of whack. Plus, it’s always dark. vLES was more of a nightlife-driven utopia (dystopia?), and spawned plenty of both admiration and vitriol from all corners of the interwebs.

Exuming old screenshots of vLES provides a handy time capsule of the neighborhood vibe nearly a decade ago, frozen in all its creepy 3D glory.

Moreover, it could certainly be argued that this technology was definitely somewhat of a precursor to Turntable.fm, the virtual DJ experience that was huge for a minute in 2013.

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