What if a virtual reality game could let you live the life you’ve always wanted? That is, until you find that winning the game is just as hard as winning at real life.
That’s the setup in “Amos Abrams Dreams of VR Tenure,” a new short story by Philly writer Daniel Torday, published by CNET. It’s part of the consumer tech news site’s fiction series, Technically Literate. Torday, who lives in Mt. Airy, runs Bryn Mawr College’s creative writing program. His first novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West, came out last year.
The story is a little zany and full of yearning and doesn’t feel very far from the future, if at all.
On the second Tuesday morning of winter quarter — LitClass was structured on a quarter system, like classes at Stanford, where its creators had gone for a year before getting enough VC to drop out and make the game — Amos put on his favorite Thomas Pink shirt and a Penguin tie and Diesel jeans and went into work. He checked in, did the first half of his shift, shuffled off to the break room, took up the Oculus Rift headset, fitted it uncomfortably over his glasses and, before selecting his level for the day, looked down in the lower right-hand corner, where the superscript read, “5.”
The night before it had also read, “5.”
Five people had logged on to class. It took a thousand to win the game, get tenure, to actually get paid to teach LitClass.
P.S.: If you write fiction or poetry about tech, let us know. We wanna share it.