One of six short stories

Ben Stokman
OneTwentyEight Blog
7 min readAug 8, 2017


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2. The virtual reality may not ever bring harm to any user, with the exception of mental pain from the users experiences

The new headset felt lighter than the last one; It is so light that would be easy to forget you had it on if… you know… it wasn’t covering your eyes.

The new headset also had a 100 thousand dot display. Compared to my previous 10 thousand dot display. The headset also came with a 125 petaflop dual-core GPU; so essentially, the images displayed would be indistinguishable from reality itself.

I couldn’t wait to try it on. I turned on my console, and carefully placed the headset and headphones around my skull, and put on the gloves. At first, there was nothing; a darkness so dark that I thought I was blinded. Then the display lit up with the login screen. My console was set to the highest security; requiring a retinal scan, oral validation, and a pin. I said the words on the screen and then entered my pin.

The display faded to black then faded in my lobby. I have spent years tweaking my lobby; and I’m proud of it. The lobby is a modern house with more than appropriate furnishings, overlooking a snowy mountain range. It was currently Friday, March eighteenth at 6:23 PM, which means I was right in time for the sunset. The perfectly fluffy clouds in the sky lit up in a beautiful bright orange, and the snow followed suit. I sat on the deck for about fifteen munites untill I grabbed my phone and took a picture of the digital landscape. My phone asked me what size I would like to save the picture in. I choose the highest option: 10 gigapixels. It took my headset and console what seemed no time at all to save the picture.

I posted the picture on Twitter. I barely use Twitter, but I think this is what you use it for.

It was spring break, and I spend a few consecutive days every spring break inside the virtual world. My mother doesn’t approve, but she usually leaves me to my own accord.

I was getting cold, so I went inside. When virtual reality first became widespread, a poll was conducted on whether or not people prefer more realistic settings over more comfortable ones. 95% of people say they prefer more realistic settings, excluding pain. Including pain only got 8% approval.

The new headset had a neuro chip built into the back, which can read and write signals to my body, but it will always keep me safe.

I am one of those 8%. I keep my pain settings all the way turned up, though I always have the manual override which makes all discomfort go away, and immediately puts me into my lobby. There have been way too many torture stories for me and my mother’s liking. Mostly my mother’s.

It was time for Dinner, I said the logout command, and took my headset off. I carefully placed it on my bedside table. My real life phone rang. I picked it up.

“Hey, Dude”


“Wanna play some FPS tonight?”

“Sure, I’ll get on in an hour.”

“Connect to my lobby, the address is”

“Great, see you then.”

I hung up and went downstairs for dinner.

“How is the new headset?” Eric asked.

“Amazing, completely indistinguishable from reality. All i wanna do is just stare at things. ”

“I have to go come over and try that out sometime.”

“Sure, come over tomorrow.”

“I’ll be there. What do you want to do?”

“I fell like scenery, wanna play in my wilderness world with me?”

“Sure, start a new world.”

I threw my left hand so that the its palm faced upwards. The menu appeared and locked onto my hand, with options of what to do. I sent a party to Eric, who accepted, then selected the option to open the game titled, “Wilderness.” The game’s menu overtook the system’s one. I selected to create a new world, and clicked generate.

The menu quickly went through the process of gathering rescouces, generating a world, starting a server, turning off the firewall, and contacting the default gateway to port forward.

The game instantly put us on a small wooden platform near the top of a small hill in a forest. We both stumbled from disorientation, than quickly recovered.

We both looked at each other. We were both naked, the game aims to be as realistic as possible, but still somewhat simple. Our starter chest contained a steel axe, some food, and twenty-five logs. I handed Eric the axe, and got to work planning out our house. I used the already existent platform as half of the house, and planned out a house that was three times as big as wide as the original platform.

The house required one hundred and seventeen logs. I was able to build the base of the house from the twenty-five logs already existent in my inventory.

Eric returned with twenty logs from trees that he had cut down, and transferred them to my inventory. I continued to build the house. Eric continued to cut down trees some distance away, as to not ruin the view. This process continued for about half an hour, until our small log cabin was built, and furnished with bed frames, a crafting bench, a door, and chests.

Now we had to start mining. We both crafted a wood shovel and pickaxe, and walked about half a mile towards the east, and started digging a hole big enough for two people to lie side by side. As soon as we shoveled up the dirt, it disappeared into our inventory.

Another hour passed of just shoveling dirt. We talked about stuff; about school, about our lives, and friends; it’s surprising how much fun work can be, as long as you don’t have to do it, and you have a friend to talk to. Throughout the day, we dug and mined until we had enough resources to reliably start off in a new world. After that we sheared sheep, expanded on the house, and built a small farm, and clothed ourselves. We were proud of our work; and the scenery was beautiful.

The sunset came. It was beautiful. We spent half an hour sitting on a small wooden bench that we built, watching the sunset. It was beautiful. It was hard to believe that

The headsets are not fit for sleep, it is better to take off the headset and sleep in your real bed.

Though we decided otherwise.

He leaned over for a kiss, and I allowed him, I didn’t feel anything, but my brain made it feel good anway. Our headsets are able to reliably read and write to certain nerves that serve organs that are everywhere that isn’t in our head.

We spent about five minutes outside, then decided to move inside.

When we were done, we both turned off privacy mode, and pulled off our headsets; it is very unhealthy to sleep with your headset on, because your body has a very hard time healing correctly.

It was past midnight and I was very tired, I lied down, and went to sleep almost immediately.

The next day was about the same, but we had more technology and capital than the previous day.

We started the day by cleaning up and organizing both the mess that we left last night and the mess that is of our storage chests. We counted materials, labeled the chests, and created a supply directory.

Then later in the day, the world seemed to bug, at first, I thought it was sun glare, then the entire sky started to turn very bright and very red. The snow instantly melted off of the trees, and the entire world started to deform and glitch out. I looked at Eric, who was staring in awe at the world I pancaked. I tri-

Two children were found dead in Atlanta earlier this morning. Both were found wearing virtual reality headsets that come with the feature that can change what the nerves are sending to the brain and vice versa.

One of the children was found trying to take his headset off, his hands were found wrapped around the headset.

The company that made the headsets, SenseVR, is launching an investigation into the indecent, however the company says there will be difficulties due to the 4096 bit encryption on both of the children's’ devices.

However, it is known that both were playing together, and shortly before the SOS signal was sent, multiple IPs connected to a popular anonymity service connected to the server that hosted the game that they were playing on.

Not much else is known at this time, but we will keep updating you.

Malissa Hawkes, NPR news, Atlanta.



Ben Stokman
OneTwentyEight Blog

Video Game lover and privacy advocate