Excerpt from the first chapter below:
When I was growing up, the idea of Virtual Reality enthralled me. However, as a teenager, the systems available had been a disappointment with the immersion limited to sight and sound. Touch, sometimes, but fleeting and not very realistic. No mention of taste or smell, a terrible omission that technology took a long time to address. Smell was the foundation of memory, as countless experiments with ants had proven.
Despite the lack, I had been very interested in the technology and followed fresh developments with a keen interest.
Even volunteering in helping a small company develop the world’s first Penis Emulation Engine for Integrated Satisfaction, which we called the P.E.eN.I.S. system. The only way to invent such a device is to be a genius with electronics, computer engineering and have zero social life. That was the value add of the company, of course. What did I bring to the table? A lack of fear I’d end up electrocuting something sensitive for a relatively small paycheck. With the economy the way it was, no wonder I ended up being a guinea pig. It beat going homeless.
You do not understand how many times I had a close call on our way to that eureka moment we’d sought.
After scoring a patent for the P.E.eN.I.S. system and selling off the technology, I watched as the new company announced they would integrate the tech into their next generation virtual environment game. The company acquiring P.E.eN.I.S Systems, Inc (of which they also paid me a slight amount in stock options) ended up paying me sizable amount once those converted to cash. Little did I know that experience being a lab
rat would eventually be the reason I got to beta test their latest full immersion game innovation, code named Phoenix Online.
In search of a specialist beta tester, the gaming corporation Phoenix Online tracked me down. I was curious about how their new system would feel, and what kind of experience it would be, especially since they had integrated the tech I helped develop and promised every sense would be filled, providing the world’s first perfect immersion.
Unfortunately, getting into the game involved some situations so dangerous that, if I had known from the start, I might have made perhaps a different choice. I might have declined and then, well, who knows where life would have taken me?
Still, with the social skills I had, games were the only way I had of interacting with the world that made me feel comfortable. If I had a girlfriend, maybe things would be different. However, every time I thought about signing up for one of those dating websites, or thought about the cute woman down the hall in my condominium building, I got cold feet and chickened out.