Adam Quinn: Bad VR (A Working Title)

This is a draft of an intro to thought of a story. Enjoy.


This story doesn’t need a prologue but I’m going to give it one anyway… or at least give this draft version a prologue.

I don’t know what prologues are supposed to be but this one is about a daylight hallucination whereby one day a few years ago, while exiting a coffee shop somewhere near Washington square park I saw a muppet. There, standing just inside my peripheral was a human muppet — a man with a puppet face in the style of guy smiley.

This was not actually reality. There was no muppet. When I turned to get a better look it was just a man, no muppet. But the thought remained that I wanted to re-experience that, and that I wanted others to experience the same thing.

Who wouldn’t want to walk around seeing plumpest instead of people?

The idea quickly spiraled to wanting to turn this into a movie about AR/VR done with practical effects instead of the computer generated kind we’d all come to know and love and hate.

The idea of writing a script sat on the shelf until one day I just decided to start writing it as a short story instead. In the writing that follows, and I don’t really know what follows because it’s not finished, is my best guess as to what this story will be. Below you’ll find fragments of ideas, an outline in process, storylines that start and stop immediately and notes as I’m writing to myself, trying to work out in real time what this story should be, how it should be, and any internal conversations I’m having with myself while I’ve been writing. I haven’t edited and everything has stayed in. I wonder if the complete transparency of hearing the voice of the writer is interesting, like seeing brush strokes on a painting? What I can say is that writing in my own voice and just writing stream of consciousness is definitely part of the process, and, if I might be so self absorbed that you the reader might find those internal musings to be interesting, I’ll leave them in for obviously egotism… at least for the draft. Perhaps I don’t trust my own story enough to live on its own as a finished piece, or maybe I’m afraid of not having a voice in the story, which is ridiculous because the entire thing is quite literally my voice. Anyway. I think it’s a pretty terrible story and I hope you feel the same way. I don’t want feedback because it’s really not necessary. Just read it and keep your opinions to yourself… unless they’re positive and full of praise, then please let me know how great you think it is.

Part 1.

Do Something Terribly And For No One

At a small desk, under a dim light, next to a pile of boxes and spare parts, he worked.

It would make things better — he thought.

If he could just finish it, and give the world the next most extremely unremarkable thing, all would be well. His problems would be solved, his friends would rejoice and share in his lack of great success, and he’d finally find happiness in having done something that would have absolutely no impact on the world whatsoever.

Sitting next to his pile of boxes he wondered what sort of lack of impact this little invention would have? Would anyone not care for it? Would they never see in it the beauty he saw in it? Would they never see it could change the world… quite literally?

And that was what drove him… to turn a listless, ennui into something beautiful… quite literally… for no one.

He called it ‘Bad VR’.

I know. Another story about VR, or alternate reality, or augmented life. Yes I know, it’s played, it’s outdated, it’s been done and no one should care. And perhaps no one should. I mean, all has been said, all has been done, and all has been prognosticated about the possibility of a future rich with artificial artifacts.

But only if it’s done well.

If it’s done terribly, then maybe there’s a chance for a real story. So our hero embarks on his quest to do something terribly, and for no one in particular.

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