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Tycho / 3 weeks ago

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Discretionary Heroism

Oh!  It ended up being another Zelda strip.  I wasn’t sure how much we’d get out of the first pack, but apparently it’s almost a week of comics.  This is probably a strong indication of the Pro-Zelda bias Gabriel is leaking into the writing room.

Somehow I ended up getting back into VR pretty heavily.  Not somehow, I guess.  Some would suggest that “things which occur in a specified locale are, optimally speaking, best retained in the confines of that space.” But it didn’t work that way, this time.  The things that happen in Star Trek: Bridge Crew make you want to explore new worlds and new civilizations as a pure and natural expression of the brand.

When I was trying to find a VR social app to work in, a phrase which is an index of our times, I tried out AltspaceVR on the recommendation of many.  They’re filling in a pretty big crack right now.  I didn’t even know they had a D&D implementation when I installed it, but they do, and among other novel conceptualizations you pull your dice from a chandelier made out of dice.  You can move figs on a gridded board and set/save/load terrain.  There’s more that is somewhat fiddly, character wise, but these are all things that can be made more human - particularly when you start talking about a robust implementation of D&D Beyond.

How’s this for a Cyberpunk twist: I didn’t know character creation for D&D Beyond had gone live until I saw an advertisement for it in a virtual space.  It did go live, by the way.  Did you know that?  I found out in an alternate dimension.

The presence in there - “presence” being a generalized index of the “truth” of your existence in the simulation - is okay.  It succeeds for me as a collection of novel usage cases.  The presence in “Facebook Spaces,” on the other hand, is supremely compelling, but will almost certainly provide a “curated,” (that is to say, truncated) experience because they can’t conceive of it as anything other than the tip of the spear for their pulsating datamass.

I still use it, because I feel like I’m there, which is important when you’re talking to someone and trying to solve a problem.  It has novel (Facebook) messaging and media sharing (from Facebook).  You can also take virtual selfies, which got to be a problem for my co-conspirator in that place, because he took about thirty of them.  Ultimately, I had to take as many of the selfies as I could and build a kind of dome around myself to protect me from the other ones.

They’ve cracked what I would think was the difficult part, which is the manufacture of what feels like an authentic, projectable self, but they’ll only let you change the world if you can do it inside their psychic penitentiary which is less ideal.

(CW)TB out.


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