Discover more from Self-Made Little Gods
A mini parallel universe
There isn't really any plot to this story. It's more of a request for product. I think VR is already at the point where Haven could be built, and I think it would significantly improve a lot of people's lives.
It was a long day. When I get back from evening drinks with the team, my roommate is gaming in the common area. We small talk for a bit, then I retire to my room.
The little white box isn't much to behold. In the corner diagonal from the door, there's a single-sized bed on one of those foldable metal frames, adorned with a quilt I've had since I was a thirteen. Beside the bed is a nightstand I found on Craigslist, and on top of that, a fan and a paperback novel. In the corner directly in front of the door is a hand-me-down, striped armchair I inherited from my mom, covered in frayed threads from her cat's claws. Balanced on the left arm of the chair is my headset. A flimsy desk made of sheet wood is sitting against the wall by the entrance, bare except for a little desk lamp.
I slide my backpack off of my shoulder, extract my laptop, and set it on the desk. Then I plod over to the armchair and sit/fall into it. I pick up my headset and slide the halo strap over my head.
As the headset comes down over my eyes, my room transforms into Haven. The white walls are replaced by walls of seamless glass. Outside, I'm surrounded by a bright, sun-filled forest. My room is situated in a clearing, and there are some deer grazing a few metres away. The ceiling is glass too, and I tilt my head back to look out at the vibrant blue sky. A wave of relief washes over me.
Looking across my room from the vantage point of the armchair, the layout is the same, but my furniture looks different. They match, all made from darkly-stained maple wood with exquisitely hand carved details. My quilt is now a white linen comforter. The arm chair I'm sitting on is beautifully upholstered in a forest green fabric. The floor is laid out in wide, long boards of hardwood. Some people design Haven to look like multi-million dollar penthouses or beach resorts, but that wasn't what I was looking for. Of course, I have alts for when I'm feeling a way (like my space station set up), but I don't use them very often. Basking in the sunshine, my forest sanctuary gives me comfort.
I get up and walk over to my desk - I want to do some writing before I settle in for the night. As I pull out the desk chair, Haven uses my headset's LIDAR sensors to map it's movement and keep the parallel versions in sync. My laptop is mapped too, and once I open the lid it connects to the headset to feed the screen contents into Haven. I summon a viewport to use instead of the screen, expand it to about 32 inches, and place it straight in front of me so I don't have to crane my neck. Reaching over to the desk lamp, which now has a chic, minimal design, I turn it on. When I do, instead of the lamp lighting up, everything beyond the desk and the viewport fades to black. It's as if I'm in a void and we are the only things there to reflect light. At the same time, my focus playlist fills the room (actually, it's spatial audio playing directly into my ears from the headset). I've tried pairing different focus scenes to the lamp, but this works best for me. I write for about 45 minutes until my focus starts to fatigue, then turn off the lamp. Haven fades back in slowly to let my eyes adjust. Outside, two fawns chase each other around as the sun starts to set.
I take off my headset and set it on the desk so that I can get ready for bed. It still feels surreal switching back and forth from reality to Haven. It's like the feeling of walking out of a dark movie theatre after a really engrossing movie. After changing into sweats and doing my nightly hygiene ritual, I come back into the room, turn off the light, and put my headset back on. The darkness of the real room has no effect on the light in Haven, where it's now dusk. The deer are wandering out of the clearing and I wander over to lay in my bed. Now that it's almost dark, the glass walls turn opaque. I pick up my book from the nightstand and press the button that sits where my fans On button would be. The fan turns on in reality and I hear a breeze start through the trees in Haven. To add to the ambience, I hit another button on the fan and a heavy rain starts to fall. Haven maps The Three Body Problem onto the pages of my paperback (which is actually an old copy of the Sirens of Titan) and turns the pages when I do.
When I can't keep my eyes open anymore, I take off my headset, set it down with the book on my nightstand, and fall into a deep sleep.