The only time I thought the metaverse could work was when Adam Savage made me cry

Lockdown was a dark time. We were separated from our friends, our family, even our work environments. The usual activities we did to escape our homes were unavailable and in fact illegal† It was a strange time, a strange point in time and space where the things we said and did now felt like they belonged on an episode of Black Mirror.

From August to December 2020 I spent all alone. I’ve seen some friends a few times, but 99.9% of those months I’ve spent without a partner in a small apartment in Bath. As a normal lonely person I didn’t think about it much every day. If you had asked me if I was alone, I would have said no. Of course not. I can call whoever I need on my phone and I have friends on Discord that I talk to almost every night. I also stream three or four times a week to a community that loves me. I was fine, wasn’t I? Was not me?

I started a new job in a different location in September 2020 and dove into the job. Between streaming and my regular job, most days were taken up with writing or entertainment. I was eventually asked to review a VR game and was sent a headset in December. The only VR game I’d done before was Beat Saber on my brother’s PSVR, so that would be intriguing.

Credit: Imogen Mellor

I took the toys from the weekend out of the box. I had the system updated in the morning while pacing around my apartment (as I usually do) picking up glasses, clearing pillows, and vacuuming—clean for room to play. And then I sat down and put the headset on, adjusted it for comfort and defined the space I could move in freely, and made the settings mine.

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