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Meet New Kids On the Block in Virtual Reality, Because We Live in the Weirdest Possible Timeline

New Kids on the Block were a pretty big deal in the late 80s and early 90s. You probably remember making up bad choreography to “Hangin’ Tough” during elementary school, right? Get ready to feel weird about the passage of time, then, because New Kids on the Block are about to become a virtual reality experience.

Speaking of the passage of time, Engadget‘s story about this upcoming VR experience claims, “your mom may want to borrow that Oculus thing.” First of all, my Mom never listened to New Kids on the Block, or at least not by her own choice. She “listened” to them in the sense that she overheard elementary school-aged me listening to them. Second of all, I know what an Oculus Rift is. Third of all, yes, a lot of women my age are Moms now, so thanks for making it weird.

Anyway, the New Kids on the Block VR experience will be produced by Littlstar VR Network in association with the second season of Rock This Boat, which is apparently a reality show about NKOTB. If the trailer I’ve embedded above is any indication of what the show’s like, it features fans of the band hanging out on a cruise-ship with the band’s members (who are all in their mid-40s now, but who have definitely continued to keep up a strict weight-lifting routine).

Rock This Boat doesn’t look that compelling to me, but the VR counterpart sounds hilarious and amazing. Here’s the description, via Pop TV‘s announcement: “The dedicated VR and 360 degree experiences will include live performances with the band, selfies with Donnie, surf lessons with Joey and Jonathan, and more.” The surfing and the concert sound like good uses of VR technology to me, but … how do you take a selfie with a celebrity in virtual reality???

I have less than zero interest in meeting any of the members of NKOTB in real life. But … meeting them in virtual reality sounds kind of charming. It would never be awkward to meet a celebrity that way, because you wouldn’t have to actually meet them! It’s exactly the type of deliciously weird corporate partnership that only the future could give to us.

(via Engadget, images via Rock This Boat and Wikipedia)

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Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (