Wednesday, January 7, 2004

I couldn’t go to sleep until quite late last night, but at least I didn’t sleep a huge amount. My sleep patterns seem to be returning to normal. The new Aerobed may indeed be helping.

More on the VR story:

Thomas appeared in a rat’s maze of grey cubicles and beige walls. Fortunately, this was an off-the-shelf low-res world; everybody and everything was an abstract shape, designed by a committee sipping bad coffee at some monolithic IT company.

This was fortunate because it meant that nobody was pariticularly distinctive. In a VR world with full-body avatars, everybody gravitated towards certain social norms. It was basic human nature, and it was different from world to world. Even corporate worlds were like that; a suit-and-tie outfit might attract attention. And the last thing Thomas Aznable ever wanted was attention.

As soon as the world resolved around him, he put out eight invisible cameras, all ringing him at a distance of one meter and facing outwards. He couldn’t really juggle that many; four was his practical maximum. But he needed as much advance warning of…anything as possible.

He began to drift forward, simultaneously pushing his forward camera away from him by another meter. Meanwhile, he was furiously arrangin ghis camera windows into a four-by-two grid at the bottom of his display. Once they were in place — more or less — he began glancing all around him, giving himself no more than one second on any view.

He recognized the world; it was by Halversson Inc., and common in large companies with lots of money to burn on overpriced software. He began to make fumbling motions with his hands, trying to remember half-forgotten commands. He managed to pull up a map of the place just as he reached the end of the hallway and turned right. He continued moving forward, at a leisurely but not overly slacking pace, as his eyes raced around the map, zooming it and re-centering it furiously.

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