Darren impatiently sat at his computer, constantly staring at the live tracking service for the package he was expecting. Today was the day his new VR gaming pod would finally be delivered and he couldn't hold back his impatience to get it installed. The rapid tapping of his foot on the wooden floor of his computer room was the only sound echoing in his entire house.
Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes while leaning back in his ergonomic chair, Darren recalled the conversations he had with some of the developers of 'Age of Gods' a few years ago. They didn't contact him because he was some genius programmer or for ideas on storylines or anything like that. In most respects, Darren was just an average thirty-year-old man with a high school education. However, there was a single aspect of his life where he excelled, playing VRMMO games.
He wasn't some super warrior who dominated PvP championships and saved NPC princesses from the forces of darkness. He also wasn't some vile villain that spent all his time wandering the digital realms slaughtering all who crossed his path and conquering kingdoms for his own benefit.
No, he wasn't one of the popular players. He was the man behind the popular players. Whenever a mighty Paladin saved a princess from an evil dragon and slaughtered it, that Paladin was likely using equipment created by Darren. Whenever a vile necromancer summoned an army of the undead and terrorized the living they were likely using equipment created by Darren.
That's right, Darren was one of the most well known and well-respected crafters in any VRMMO he decided to play. He never picked sides, his only interest lay in making items that were more and more powerful. It didn't matter if it was the forces of light or dark using his items, as long as he got to make something impressive. For this reason, Darren would only play VRMMO's that allowed the players to either make custom items or at least customize the appearance of items.
This was why Karonite industries, the leader in VRMMO technology for the last few decades and the creators of the upcoming game 'Age of Gods', had reached out to him years ago. Despite not being an eye-catching star in the eyes of the public, he was still very well known by those who were.
Darren spent months talking with the development team at Karonite, telling them all the things he liked and hated about previous games and the things he would love to see available in future games so he, and others like him, could have the time of their lives making items for people. Lifestyle players like him were the lifeblood of good games and making players like him happy would make the players on the frontlines slaughtering monsters happy as well.
He had no idea how much of his advice the representatives listened to or incorporated into their game, but he was dying to find out. Two years after his conversation with Karonite Industries the pre-order announcement and release trailer for 'Age of Gods' had come out. Darren wasted no time and pre-ordered instantly, even if the game and accompanying VR pod weren't coming out for another six months.
He wasn't a rich man, but for various reasons he had enough in his savings account to live a moderately comfortable life without working. The cost of the game and pod had taken him months to financially recover from though. However, he was certain it would be worth the light meals and lack of social activity he had to suffer through.
Darren opened his eyes and sat back up to stare at the display once more. The live tracking showed that his delivery was only a few blocks away, it had been for the last two hours while the delivery company installed that player's pod. He was next on the list, even if the game wasn't due to launch for another week he was still impatient for the delivery to arrive.
A few hours later the delivery was finally right outside of his house. Without waiting for the delivery and installation crew to knock on his door Darren had already thrown it open. The delivery guy about to knock on the door gave a rueful smile and had slowly lowered his hand. Darren wasn't the first overly excited and impatient customer he'd had to deal with over the last few days.
After ushering in the installation crew and signing some paperwork they got to work and started to install the pod in Darren's computer room. He'd spent a week emptying it out of all his old gear just to make room for the oversized pod. The advances in the technology had made leaps and bounds and this pod was the culmination of several fields. It had everything a player would need for an extended gaming session of up to a week. Intravenous food and water, waste disposal, and most importantly it was comfortable.
The actual installation of the pod only took a few minutes, they only had to bring it into the room, plug in the power and connect it to Darren's data line. What took hours was teaching Darren how to change the supply packs for the food, water, and waste as well as calibrating the machine to his unique brainwaves. It was a painless process, just time-consuming. Once everything was finished the installation crew left and Darren crawled into the form-fitting interior of the pod and pressed the button to close the lid.
Once the lid closed Darren was encased in an utterly silent and pitch black environment. He couldn't even hear any of the machines self-produced noises. After a moment a small screen in front of his eyes had lit up and displayed the word "Connecting...". A few seconds later the displayed had changed...
|Game begins in: 6d:8h:34m:26s|