Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: The console

This week, Futures is delighted to welcome Zach Chapman with his trip into virtual reality, The console. Zach is a gamer and editor, and you can catch up with his work on his website or by checking him out on Facebook and Twitter. Here he reveals what inspired his latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.

Writing The console

I was born with a video game controller in my hand.

Well, that’s not exactly true. My parents actually refused to buy me a Super Nintendo, so I mowed lawns and did chores until I could afford a system. By that time, the big thing was the N64. Anyways, I’ve been a gamer almost all of my life. So, being the gamer that I am, I’m fascinated by virtual reality.

VR gaming has come a long way. The HTC Vive is a far cry from the Virtual Boy, and if the technology can evolve that much in 20 years, what will VR be like in another 20? How will it change people? Society? I asked myself these questions before I started writing The Console.

The VR device in that story generates a reality based on the user’s memories. Except memory is never a literal recount of past experiences and so Rachel’s console is never able to perfectly recreate her dead wife. Memories are malleable. As far as I know, all humans are susceptible to confabulation. And this universal distortion of memory could have profound consequences for VR (or AR). Ultimately, my story ends with Rachel’s console rendering her confabulation.

Well, not all of them can have happy endings!


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