[Would you like to live a second life in another world?]
[Second Life Project’s Second Installment!]
[“Dimension Wave” is now recruiting participants! Deadline approaching!]
“What do you think?”
Backgrounds and characters are drawn just like in real life. Judging from the fact that it has a seven-page spread in a game magazine, it seems to be quite popular.
“Even if you asked me about my thoughts on it…”
The two women who suddenly appeared… they were my sisters, older and younger. They shoved a game magazine in my face while wearing smug expressions as they asked, “What do you think?”
To be honest, I have no idea what these two are trying to convey to me. Well, it seems to be a game, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested in it. The genre of which is stated to be an MMORPG. If I had to choose, I prefer games like Harv*st Moon and Wor*d Nev*rl*nd that repeats the calm everyday life.
“Seriously~ You’re such a bummer~!” my big sister commented.
“Right~!” my little sister agreed.
What’s with them being in such high spirits? I know I’m getting a little ahead of myself by saying this, but I think I get along well with my siblings. We play games together, and both my sisters are also big game lovers.
“Hey hey. What do you think of this game, Onii-chan?” My little sister asked me while putting up a cutesy act. She sure is in high spirits.
#Note: (O)Nii-chan is a very familiar way to call big brother. (O)Nii-san feels a little more formal and stiff, and can be used to refer to an older person.
I was a little taken aback by the height of the excitement, but since we were blood-related siblings, I resisted my urge to retort and turned my eyes towards the magazine that was handed to me.
It seems to be an online game. One where players band together to face an antagonistic force in the game world known as the ‘Dimension Wave’. From a glance, it just looks like your typical RPG that employs the use of various weapons and magic to defeat monsters.
Oh, activities like fishing are available as well? I love it when games have these kinds of features. A playstyle where you can just kick back and relax while going through the game at your own pace.
There are also several races to choose from.
Oh? There is an unusual explanation. Okay, let’s see…
[Like the critically acclaimed first installment, in order for our players to properly experience a second life in the game, players will be unable to log out until the end of the game. However, time in the game progresses at a different rate than in reality. Although it takes several years to clear the game, only 24 hours would have passed in reality, so even working adults who don’t have enough time can enjoy it. We are currently looking for participants, so we are looking forward to your application! For those who wish to participate, please access the address below!] it said.
Come to think of it, I remember there being a lot of noise about it a year ago. A second life project published by a popular VRMMO company, was it?
As written in magazines, a system where several months or years in the game are just a few hours in the real world. It is popular mainly among working people and the name ‘Second Life’ seemingly comes from the fact that it is not possible to log out until the end of the game.
Due to the inner workings of the game, it was held once a month, the majority understood the complications and praised it in satisfaction excluding the few that had expressed otherwise. That’s what I saw on an informational website.
My friend also played and praised it, so it must have been quite interesting.
As a social problem, after playing, there were reports of slight changes in people’s behavior. Spending years inside the game may have some effect on personality development. Furthermore, my friend apparently got a girlfriend in the game, and they’re now dating in real life.
#Note: Riajuu are people who are living their real life with satisfaction. Usually translated as Normie.
As a side note, the entry fee for the game should have been quite high. Though it can’t be helped because of the special equipment that the game requires, its expensive cost of development and upkeep, and the company is a business that makes money in the first place.
In short, it’s a pretty expensive game, at least for students.
“So what is this about?”
To be honest, even if I beg my father or mother for it, it’s the kind of product that they will only say “no” to, no matter what…
“Hehe~!” With the same spirit, my big sister took out an envelope. The sender is marked as [Second Life Project].
“N- no way…”
“That’s right, it’s the game participation ticket!”
“Where did you get it? You are not involved in any crime, right!?”
“I got it from winning a game tournament last time! It’s the prize!” My little sister happily explained, ignoring the joke I made in poor taste.
About the competition where the participation ticket of such a game is the prize, if I’m not wrong, it is probably a competition of the arcade fighting game that was held the other day by an affiliated company. It was really lively there based on the informational site that I saw. There were just floods of people who participated for just this participation ticket.
To think that my family was included in that… It feels strange.
“Up to three people can participate with one ticket!”
My big sister that had a smug expression, and my little sister that seemed to be able to fly off at any moment from sheer excitement.
“Three people… that’s a strange number.”
Isn’t it usually two or four people?
I heard that there are lovers who participated in the event as if they were husband and wife, and deepened their relationship. There are also stories that some broke up because their relationship worsened in the game…
Anyway, that means I can participate too?
… No, wait a minute.
“Hey, why don’t you sell this at an auction—gagh!” Before I finished, my little sister’s fist had sunk into my right cheek.
“There’s no way we will sell it! Onii-chan you idiot!”
“No, even if you sell one of these and make a profit, we can go on a family trip—gagh!” This time my big sister’s fist had sunk into my left cheek.
“I think it’s fine to start showing filial piety to our parents after getting a job and becoming a member of society.”
Wow, these two are sure to be loyal to their desires. Well, it’s not mine to begin with, so I’m not in a position to say this or that.
“So… are you going to invite a friend for the remaining slot?”
The two of them stare at me with eyes like they are looking at something strange.
“Don’t you want to play, Onii-chan?”
“No, not really.” It looks interesting, but I feel intimidated when I think of it as a VR game. “I’m not compatible with VR game machines.”
VR game machine. Or dive-type online games. A gust of wind that has swept through the online game industry in recent years.
Not so long ago, it was known as one of the science fiction genres: cyberpunk. Such a dream and hope of a dive-type online game. When it first came out, it made a lot of fuss, but their evaluations were generally not good aside from a few who said otherwise.
The first problem, I think Japanese gamers will understand, but some people just can’t vibe with the level of real life interaction required from dive-type cyber worlds they call VR. For example, just like video games made with pixels are still popular, players accustomed to playing while looking at a TV screen were unable to grasp the appeal of it.
Since I was born in a generation that had beautiful 3D games, it didn’t bother me, but it seems there were quite a few people who had a negative reaction to the transition from pixels to 3D games. Well, if that’s the extent of it, there’s no way I’d feel a sense of refusal toward dive-type games.
The second problem, the significance of influence from human brain waves. In recent years, it has become clear that there is considerable variance between the brain waves, also known as cognitive computing capability, of individuals. In short, the identity of what has long been referred to as ‘instantaneous judgment’ and ‘decisiveness’ has been discovered, but in dive-type games, where the speed of electronic transmission in the brain is crucial in such games, there will inevitably be a difference depending on the ability of the individual.
In the end, gamers become dissatisfied with games that do not serve all the players the same starting point, and the demand is not as high as expected, except for a few players who have been able to adapt.
Well, I heard that even the stylus screen wasn’t well received in the beginning. In other words, with the advancement of sciences together with the improving performance of game consoles, it will eventually be a big hit when individual ability is no longer a factor in performance.
Come to think of it, I think I heard that story somewhere—
“Onii-chan, the pod type has a built-in brainwave constant program, so anyone can do it.”
“Oh, right. That’s also part of the reason why the entry fee is so high.”
Pod type—A high-performance VR game console if you could call it that. Unlike the head-mounted display attached to ordinary computer-like equipment, this is a slightly mad-scientific machine that houses a whole person in a pod soaked in a special air-breathable liquid and connects them to the game.
As I mentioned before, since this equipment is needed for participation, its operating costs skyrocket in just one day of activation.
“Well, I now know I can participate, but isn’t there anyone else you two can invite?”
“It’s such a rare opportunity that three can participate, so wouldn’t it be more fun to do it with my little brother and sister?”
“Okay then, let me join you. Thank you for inviting me.”
For some reason, I was pretty happy with that.
And just like that, I decided to participate in the Second Life Project, Dimension Wave.
On the day of the game’s launch.
The three of us got on the train and went to the event venue.
The venue was already filled with people even though my sisters were pestering me to leave early.
The things we had to bring with us were the participation tickets and USB drives with our character creation data that were distributed to all the participating players.
Due to the nature of the game, it takes time to create a character, so they asked the players to create it in advance.
My character is a muscle bodybuilder giant that I pondered over for multiple days and finally finished about three days ago. Muscular characters aren’t very popular in the world, but I think they’re cool.
The game also has multiple races you can choose, the choices are Human(人間), Demi-human(亜人), Grass People(草人), Jewel People(晶人) and Spirit People(魂人); I chose the Spirit People race.
From the top, they are read as Human, Demi-human, Elf, Jewel, and Spirit.
The reason I chose the Spirit People race is because it’s a race that does not have Levels, HP, MP which is rare in these kinds of online games. Information about them was sparse on the official website, so I’ll have to figure it out as I go in the game.
Among these, I was interested in Jewel and Spirit, but I chose Spirit in the end since I like rare races.
Besides me, my big sister picked Human and my little sister picked Demi-human. I didn’t ask them about it but they told me.
“Oh, it looks like the launch is about to begin.”
When I pointed that out, the two who were restless with excitement began to move forward.
On the way to the room, I used one of the three issued participation tickets that had a built-in ID pass. After I handed it to the staff member, they handed me a key with a blue plastic keychain that had a number assigned to it.
As we continued to walk further, the road split into two paths. It seems that men and women are separated.
“See you later,” said my big sister.
“Bye-bye~!” said my little sister.
After a brief wave, I proceeded toward the men’s area and arrived at the changing room. It’s quite wide.
I opened the numbered locker with the key that had the corresponding number written on the keychain, inside was a set of clothes. These were clothes tailor-made using the three sizes and admission number that I inputted on the official website prior to the event.
I quickly slipped into the given clothes which gave off an image of a pilot suit from an anime, it also feels strangely tight. The guys that are next to me are probably having similar thoughts, judging by the fact that they’re wearing it in silence.
Originally, participants were supposed to enter the dive pods completely naked. It wasn’t well received, so the company decided to make special clothes specifically for moving around. In addition, these clothes are equipped with life-saving devices for emergencies. Which must also be a reason for the high entry fee.
While thinking about that and changing my clothes at the same time, I double-checked the lock on the locker and went ahead.
What came into view were the group of pods rumored to have induced cold sleep capabilities.
The pod is quite big for something meant to fit one person, it’s about the same size as the bed in my room.
On the pod, there’s a large conspicuous sticker stuck to it that shows the USB port and the instructions to operate it which is easily understandable at a glance.
Following as shown, I inserted the USB drive, entered the pod after checking for the closure of the door and then laid down.
I still have some time before the game starts, so let’s think about what I’ll do in the game.
My siblings said something along the lines of them taking combat roles, but I have other plans. I think I’ll try the ‘fishing’ mechanic that I saw in the magazine.
I feel like fishing in an MMORPG is a bit of a waste of time, but I think enjoying the rest of your life at a leisurely pace is also what the Second Life game company intended for it to be. Well, thinking about what I’m going to do after that isn’t going to help. If I play the game long enough, I will eventually find a purpose.
While thinking about it, I remember that I completely forgot about the event called Dimension Wave, which is also the title of the game. Participating in the event itself is voluntary, so I can decide whether I participate or not but I’m sure those two will participate. I want to at least support them in some way.
“All participants, it is time to start. Please do not leave the pod until the game starts.”
It seems that I was immersed in my thoughts as time passed. After the announcement, liquid started to pour into the pod.
The liquid wasn’t green… It was more like the lighting inside the pod. Is this some kind of performance? The liquid looks colorless, and in a blink of an eye the pod fills up. I resumed breathing after I stopped out of instinct, I’m surprised that I can breathe inside the liquid. I was half skeptical until now.
“—Referring to data 0%…………100%.”
“—Reference completed. Starting stress test of the brainwave constant program.”
Images flowed directly into my vision, or rather into my brain. The scenery is more beautiful than reality.
It’s a video of a lot of people moving around in a fantasy townscape. I can pick out the sound well, from the voice of a nearby merchant-like man serving customers to even the footsteps of the crowd.
My compatibility is at the level where significant delays can be felt when using a normal VR game machine, but surprisingly there is no disturbance here, and the resolution of the image is also very good.
As expected of dedicated equipment.
“—Test has ended. Upon completion of other protocols, the game will be launched.”
Even so, I’m not very used to having words sent directly to my brain without going through my ears. I get the illusion that I have entered the world of science fiction, modern science must be quite advanced.
It would be appropriate to call it excitement, but I was strangely restless and looked around restlessly, suddenly my vision was cut off.
“That, just now, did not feel good.”
This is not limited to games, but it can be said for all dive-type machines, I’m not good at dealing with suddenly losing my vision because it feels like I’ve turned off the TV.
It gives me the illusion of the world that I’ve lived in thus far, wasn’t real at all.
“—IT IS A BLESSING TO YOUR LIFE!”
English? Is the literal translation ‘Bless your life’? I’m not very good at English so I don’t know.
When I thought about such things, my consciousness faded little by little.