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Tag: gamer

Conspiratopia: Chapter 19

Pushing shopping carts at the Conspiratopia Project was way better and different than pushing shopping carts at Walmart. That’s for sure! Never mind I was making like twenty cents more and hour, which ruled.

For one, like they were all electric and crap. But like, that was kinda the problem and stuff. Cause the electronics and stuff weren’t working right. So now they were just like ordinary dumb shopping carts. Except they were like extra heavy and awkward because of the self-driving stuff added underneath. And like, because they weren’t meant to be used that way and stuff, you couldn’t really stack them together inside each other, and push a bunch of them at the same time. 

I was really good at it though, so like I figured out how you could sort of push two or three at least a little bit, depending where you were. I think it’s cause I’m like such a good gamer and stuff. And I like puzzles. So it was totally cool. In fact, the first few days I was so super into it that when they asked me at the shop if I wanted to turn on autopilot, I said no. Plus anyway it kinda gave me a chance to walk around and look at stuff, and learn where everything is in the mall on my own. 

Well, not everything, cause not all areas were like rated for smart carts and stuff. But sometimes people took them outside designated zones, and um I had to use like this little handheld radar thingy to try to go figure out where the hell it was. It was really fun. 

My dad and I were put on alternating shifts, so for a while I didn’t actually even see him all that much. Sometimes we got to eat dinner or breakfast or something together. A couple times our days off lined up, and we got shitfaced together on beers and weed and stuff, so that was really fun. Or me or him would have fallen asleep watching TV and would come in from a shift and wake the other one up. That was alright though, cause it would give us a chance to catch up for a few minutes. 

After a while though – I don’t know how long it was, maybe a couple weeks or something – it started to get a little repetitive. I started letting them turn on autopilot and doing overwrite sessions at work. That was actually pretty cool though too. Cause like even though you could turn it on and watch a movie or something, you could also just like turn it on, but then watch. They called this “maintaining peripherals.” And like your body and stuff would just keep going, even if you didn’t do anything. It’s hard to explain really the feeling, what it was like. I mean it was like somebody else was running your body and what you saw or did was like a film. It was a little weird, but also like totally cool because it meant you could zone out really. Or like even take a nap if you turned off peripherals, or turned them down low enough. And that was really cool. Or you could like mix a film or game with peripherals anyway you wanted, as an overlay, or like in a little picture-in-picture window thing. 

Sometimes I liked to mix games with where I was in the mall IRL. So like while my body was collecting smart carts, I could be like running around in a first-person shooter in that same place, and pretending to throw grenades and stuff at shoppers or whatever. Or I could be like a sniper hiding up somewhere, and I could watch my own body pass by pushing shopping carts and shoot myself. It was totally cool. 

Once I got into that, I actually ended up joining some of the games that my dad and his friends did during overwriting, and that was really fun as hell. So I ended up seeing my dad actually more during games than IRL, especially cause sometimes I would go home from work and play games during my off hours, instead of sleeping. 

They had some really sick games there, actually. Way better than the stuff you see commercially on the outside. Ten times more advanced graphics and game play and stuff. Apparently according to my contract, I’m not supposed to talk much more about it than that or something. My dad said it had to do with the AI’s that run the place. Because they were really good at making games and shit. He was totally right. That stuff was sweet as hell. It made me glad I moved there. 

I actually stopped going on message boards and stuff, because there really weren’t any. Not any good ones anyway. The internet on the inside was not like the internet on the outside. Everything was focused around games and stuff for the people who lived and worked there. And it was really just one big platform run by the Project, and it was all pretty boring and stuff. 

There were like some channels where people talked about conspiracy theories and whatnot still. Just for fun I liked to check them out. Sometimes a new group would form that tried to be anonymous and stuff, and they would come up with some crazy theory about how the AI administrators of the Project were like going insane and gonna kill everybody one of these days. But like nobody cared that much IRL, because IRL we were all pretty much doing virtual shit or game shit all the time that was much more interesting than a bunch of old farts sitting around and whining in chatrooms. 

Plus like, you couldn’t really be actually anonymous there, which was a little weird at first, but then I got used to it. There were always like a bunch of cameras and sensors that were like watching or measuring or something. But it wasn’t really invasive. It was more like idk fun and even reassuring or something? Like I always felt totally safe. Like the AI’s always had my back. 

I never got scared or anything when they turned on autopilot. I would get hella stoned before, and would just like ride the wave. You know? Surf that shit. I heard some people freaked out and stuff, and they had to like operate on them or send them away, because workers who couldn’t be overwritten were a drain on resources. And they hated that. They hated like waste and stuff, which I totally started to get into. I hate it now too. I’m into like efficiency and stuff, you know? Improving my percent scores. Shaving milliseconds off of completion of micro-tasks and stuff. It’s totally rad.  

That’s why when they asked for volunteers for a like dangerous experimental job to improve efficiency, I volunteered like right away. If I successfully finished the job, I would end up earning a lot of credits and bonus multipliers and stuff that the algorithm would boost my rankings with, so I could finally become a citizen. It sounded like it was gonna be totally cool. 

Conspiratopia: Chapter 4

I frickin’ love freedom. That’s why I was so stoked to get the free VR goggles, plus the free pizza and Dew. The white rabbit mini-game was pretty fun for a few minutes, and I earned some points chasing that thing down some mega holes. I guess it was a tutorial to show you how to like move around with the headset and the controller and stuff. But I’m a pretty big gamer, so I figured it out right away no problem. 

I caught up with the rabbit finally cause he stopped running. But when I got in close to try to pick him up, he like evaporated or something. Then the scene shifted, and I was like standing outside of this huge wall with a gigantic wooden gate that was closed. I tried going up to the gate and like pushing on it and stuff, but it wouldn’t move. 

There was the voice again in my headset:


There was nothing to click on though, so I just said “Yeah,” out loud, even though I wasn’t sure this thing was voice activated. 


“Let’s goooo…” I said, and then it started for real. 

The surveys came at me in 3D this time, and had full sound effects and stuff. I whipped through them like crazy with the controller, and it was a total piece of cake to use, compared to the rabbit mini-game. The questions in the first couple rounds of surveys were really general like I said. But these ones started to get more specific. It was like asking me questions about my childhood and stuff. And my parents. They were multiple choice though, so it was totally cool. I didn’t have to type out anything, which was nice. I got a lot of bonuses cause my speed was so good.

Then it started to get really interesting. It started to ask me all about conspiracy theories and stuff. A lot of them were ones I read about on Reddit and some other forums and stuff, so those were really easy. It asked me if I thought such and such conspiracy theory was like definitely true, probably true, probably not true, definitely not true, etc. There were hundreds of them. I went fast, and I think I got most of them right. Some of them were definitely not true, like that the moon is made of cheese and stuff. Like only a baby would believe that. 

There started to be more and more ones I never heard of before in the survey questions, which was pretty weird cause I’m such a smart conspiracy guy. If I haven’t already heard of it, it probably doesn’t exist is what I thought at first. But like a lot of them sounded like they could be probably or definitely true, so I was pretty surprised. It was totally cool to learn about all these new conspiracy theories. I wanted to write some of them down so I could do my own research later, but there was no time if I wanted to keep my speed up and keep crushing extra points and bonuses and stuff. 

I don’t know how long I went for. It seemed like a long ass time, but it was pretty hard to tell wearing the VR goggles. I was getting like super tired after a while, and started slowing down, and just picking random answers cause I was losing focus. 


“Uh,” I said. “I totes do. I’m just like really tired and stuff.”


“Hey, now,” I replied. “I can like still be the One and be tired too, right?”


“Um…” I didn’t know what else to say. I must have passed 8 or 9 hours taking surveys and playing mini-games and puzzles and stuff already. I was totally beat. I thought about how I just wanted to smoke and frickin’ veg out on the couch. 

Everything else went dark and a stopwatch appeared onscreen, with no numbers or anything. Just like a frowning face in the middle of it, and it was counting down hella fast. 

I panicked. “Okay,” I said finally. “Can we just do like a 5 minute break?”


“Yeah, fine, unpaid. I get it. Anyway, the One has gotta make a number 1.”

I whipped off the headset, stretched my arms, rubbed my eyes, and jogged over to the bathroom to do my thing. I was totally beat but decided I gotta see what was inside that city, man. It was eating me up inside. Or maybe it was the free pizza and Dew. I decided to cram another slice into my face and washed it down with some sweet, sweet Dew. 

I put the headset on again. “Okay, I’m back.”

The timer ran down to zero, and the game booted back up again. 


“Fire away, I’m ready,”

Suddenly onscreen there appeared a huge wall of text with the words NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT marked in bold across the top. 

“Shit, I gotta read all this?”


“Done,” I said. “What’s this all for anyway?”


“Oh, dope. Okay, no problem. I’m like really good at keeping secrets. So don’t worry.”

A thumbs up emoji appeared on screen. And then I was standing in front of the gate again. There was a really long progress bar while the next section loaded. It was super slow. I was wondering if it was frozen or something, and almost went to turn it off and turn it back on again. But just when I was about to, there was a grumbling sound and the headset vibrated, and the gate swung open. I went inside. 

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