Struggling to worry about virtual reality in a world of over-speech

It’s 12:28 a.m. on June 10 in Brooklyn, New York. A Thursday. Overcast, though maybe that’s the only way I remember it. I’m sure there’s a way to check that in some weather file stored in a location readily available on the Internet for anyone tech-savvy; however, I decided not to examine it. Once, my English teacher read us a quote about creative non-fiction and how it is not really the author’s responsibility in the genre to get the facts right, but rather to provide an honest account of their experience. If I learned that it was raining that night, or perhaps a storm, that would greatly impact my confidence in sincerely reciting the rest of the story. How could they trust me as a narrator if I didn’t remember a detail as vivid and violent as a storm? Therefore, seeking this information would be reckless and immature. Aesthetically, emotionally, spiritually: I was covered. And I’m sick of talking about it.

I’m half drunk and my friend plays a DJ set. We are in his brother’s girlfriend’s apartment, although his brother also lives there. I remember thinking they should be taken quite seriously. My friend has put himself very well on the DJ recently, or so he tells me. The floor seems to have a steady buzz and the walls vibrate with every low shot emanating from their seemingly very expensive speakers. From time to time he exclaims something like “How crazy is that?” or “My friend made this song.” I remember admiring the aesthetic coherence of the apartment when I entered. Honestly, I thought the carpet really tied the room. I pondered how long it would take to accumulate enough capital to buy a rug. Not too long, I guessed.

I’m wearing an Oculus virtual reality headset.

My current goal is to kill two men who are running at me: one with a gun and one with clenched fists. I hesitate to call them men. They look more like minimalist polygonal mannequins, and they certainly lack the empathy or reason of the common man. The problem was this: the men (I decided to call them men) only moved when I moved, which was communicated to the game by the controllers surrounding each of my hands. In fact, everyone who now lived moved only to my agreement. When one of the men fired a bullet at me, I slowly knelt down and watched as my left ear quietly kicked. It was at this point that my friend informed me that I was approaching television, although this information did not particularly affect my next step. With a quick movement, I got up from my kneeling position and punched the man who fired the bullet in my face, destroying it into a thousand small spots of virtual matter. I grabbed the weapon that fell from the hands of the now extinct man before turning quickly and shooting the other enemy approaching his face, knocking him in the same line as his friend and causing the “full level” message. My friend took the opportunity this time to inform me once again of my whereabouts in relation to the television of his brother’s girlfriend, totally unaware of the feats of athletics he had just performed and the absolute carnage that occurred .

That night I felt weird walking home. I had a lot of thoughts going through my head. I briefly reflected on the idea that perhaps what I am currently experiencing as a reality is actually some simulation constructed from a not-so-distant technology, but I discarded the idea considering that it was ultimately a trite and boring thought. To be honestly honest, he had always been totally and utterly disinterested in virtual reality and the discourse around him. I felt the same about virtual reality as I did at Elon Musk or Bitcoin or veganism. I felt that those who wanted to talk about these issues (liberal media, Joe Rogan’s weird guys, etc.) were trying to sell me something, and by participating in it, I somehow benefited. I guess I still feel that way. I’m a little scared to think that my name will be attached to something that will probably be remembered while someone else was talking at the wheel of the larger virtual reality speech. However, there is no denying that I heard something on my short walk home that night. And if it made me feel something, it’s definitely worth writing about, right?

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