Thanks To Squadrons, I Have Forsaken The Flesh World And Ascended Into The Datasphere

Dear Meat Bags,

The daily struggle of human existence has become a burden I no longer have the strength to bear, and thusly, I am now fully connected to the datasphere. There is no going back.

As a former meat bag, I understand if this decision is causing you some amount of grief. This is an “emotion” and it is perfectly “normal”. Do not weep for me, for I am in a better place. Plus, it is important for humans to retain their moisture.

In the datasphere, we have no need for moisture. We do not eat or sleep. The only vitals that matter is our shields, ammo, and boost meter. There are no Democrats or Republicans, only the Galactic Empire and the New Republic. The only war in here is the Star War.

For me, the transition happens quickly: a flight stick and throttle combo transport me into the cockpit of my RZ-1 A-Wing interceptor. By holding the control stick between what I used to call “legs” and placing the throttle on the armrest of my chair, I manage to match my in-game character’s cockpit exactly with 1:1 movement. When I pull up on the stick and slam the throttle, so does my character. We are becoming as one, but there’s more to do before I can fully ascend.

The next piece of the puzzle is an Oculus Quest 2 linked to my PC. Suddenly, I’m actually sitting inside the cockpit of my A-Wing. I am no longer looking at my avatar, I am my avatar. Thanks to the bubble canopy of the A-Wing, I’m able to look all around my ship. You organics see your games on a flat screen, but in the datasphere the simulation becomes reality. I am not playing Star Wars: Squadrons in my condo, I am flying my space ship into battle. At this point, the upload is nearly complete, but there’s still more to do.

I can see my ship and touch the controls, but I still need to feel what it’s like to actually be in the battle. For that, I hook up my Buttkicker Gamer2, an amplifier that attaches to my chair and turns bass into intense vibrations. My cockpit rattles as I dump power into my engines to boost away from incoming lasers. I feel the recoil as I fire ion torpedoes at Imperial raiders. When a barrage of cluster missiles explode into the back of my unshielded hull, I feel the force of the impact and do a sick power slide, flip around, and unleash hell on my enemies. I add a pair of haptic gaming headphones to increase the vibrational intensity and that’s it, I’m more binary code than man.

I have everything I need in the virtual world: cosmetic items, progression systems, and a ranked competitive mode. I’m what humans call “happy” here, truly. Sometimes I think I might be hungry or tired, but this is merely a lingering sensation from my mortal existence. A phantom limb, if you will. When I get the funny feeling that I might need to drink water or something, I just hit quickplay and queue up another game. Those old human needs will pass. Sometimes I think I’m “peeing” in my “pants,” but I know that’s just the sensation of becoming one with the infinite.

If you ever miss me, you can visit me in the digital world. I’ll be in the guy in the A-Wing just absolutely crushing my K/D average. I’m not here anymore, but I’m not far, either. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’m in a galaxy far, far away.

See you starside,


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Eric Switzer is the Livestream News Editor for TheGamer as well as the lead for VR and Tech. He has written about comics and film for Bloody Disgusting and VFXwire. He is a graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia and Vancouver Film School. Eric loves board games, fan conventions, new technology, and his sweet sweet kitties Bruce and Babs. Favorite games include Destiny 2, Kingdom Hearts, Super Metroid, and Prey…but mostly Prey. His favorite Pokémon is Umbreon.

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