If you’ve read things like Ender’s Game, you probably know that every time you play a video game, there’s a small chance that it’s secretly some kind of advanced telepresence project or command system, and you’ve just accidentally killed a bunch of sentient beings in some far-off city or planet. Well, I’m increasingly convinced that covert telepresence is already happening in virtual reality — and that the effects are more subtle and insidious than we could possibly have imagined.
Today, a studio called Rewind released a game called Pane in the Glass for the HTC Vive. Here is the description:
Pane In The Glass takes the genre of VR window washing to new EXTREME heights! Grab your sponge and squeegee, then soak up the fast and frantic action as you splash, wipe and squeak your way up the ever increasing tower of windows!
On its face, this is another fun take on the VR simulation game genre, like a version of Job Simulator that involves actually doing a job instead of photocopying donuts and throwing them at your co-workers. Some people already love mundane simulations of farming or driving a truck, and the Vive’s motion controllers make physically performing small tasks surprisingly enjoyable, which is why people go wild over experiences where you cook meatballs or flip pancakes.
But somewhere in a city hundreds of miles away, a telepresence robot is probably sitting on a platform, precisely following your squeegee movements. You haven’t murdered anyone with it... so far. But your virtual labor is slowly putting real-world window washers out on the streets. You’re not even working for free — you’re paying $4.99 (currently $2.99, on sale) for the privilege. You are personally responsible for the destruction of the blue-collar middle class and probably the end of work, because the game was real all along.
How does it feel, player? How does it feel!?