Tag Archives: horror

Save Me, Virtual Reality!

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It’s official. I’m into virtual reality. I decided to splurge a couple of days ago and invested on a PSVR. With stocks limited, they’re still a bit hard to find here in Seoul, with many people re-selling them at ridiculously over-inflated prices (over $1000 from some sellers!). Thankfully, I managed to get lucky and snag one at a reasonable price.

The Oculus Rift is available in department stores, but I’m not really that excited over its design as well as the fact that the experience it offers seems to be more of an isolated one. I think the HTC Vive suffers from the same thing. Also, both units require quite a large amount of space dedicated for your virtual reality experience, space that’s hard to come by in Seoul. That and I haven’t even seen the HTC Vive at all in the country.

The best aspect of the PSVR is that it outputs both on the headpiece as well as the television. This way, my wife and I can share the experience. We play a lot of video games together and this just adds a new way for us to experience media either as games or as visual experiences. The resolution is not that great, but the immersion is pretty decent. Once you’re in it, your brain is actually tricked into feeling artificial motion and space. Higher definition would be great, but so far, I don’t think it’s necessary. I guess it’s just a matter for developers to actually make good use of the little processing power they have for the machine instead of relying purely on visual horsepower.

So far, I’ve been enjoying horror games and other scary experiences the most. It is amazing the dark places the mind will go to when playing scary media on virtual reality when you’re alone in the house. My wife has been enjoying the more lighthearted games on virtual reality. Things like Job Simulator or Hatsune Miku. I would compare the novelty of virtual reality to the novelty of motion controllers when they were first popularized a few years ago. It’s quite exciting and I’m hungry for new virtual reality experiences.

The only drawback so far is that I can’t just sit with a virtual reality headset for hours on end. It can get pretty nauseating, so I have to take a break after an hour or so. It’s not like regular video games or movies where you can just park yourself in front of the television for hours. Maybe my body will start coping better the more I use it. Lots of people are complaining that many of the titles developed for virtual reality are short experiences. For now, I’m fine with that.

In any case, here’s hoping that companies continue to develop for the platform. I really don’t want it go out the way motion controls have basically faded out. Keep making things for me to see in virtual reality and escape my real-life problems. PSVR has been my most exciting purchase of the year so far. Who knows, maybe once I upgrade my PC, I’ll invest on beefier headsets. The movie experiences I’ve seen so far have been promising. The games I tried have been very immersive. I haven’t checked out VR pornography though. I’m kinda squeamish about that. I have a feeling that would somehow cross over to an almost medical territory.

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A Year of Health Scare

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Last year, around the same time today, I got diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid. The doctors don’t quite know what to make of it and they said they would just put me under observation. “Come back in a year.” It’s been a year. I’ll see what’s going on this afternoon, fingers crossed.

After my diagnosis last year, I learned a couple of things. One is that my family has a history of it. My sister has an enlarged thyroid and she’s managing it with drugs. My mom had issues with her thyroid as well. I forgot all about it, but I do remember worrying about her having goiter when I was younger. In any case, according to test results, my hormone levels are fine so there’s really not much cause for concern for now.

The other thing I learned is that there’s a tendency for some Korean doctors to exaggerate the need for surgery when it comes to thyroid problems. Patients end up getting their thyroids removed, using drugs to manage their hormone levels, and harming themselves more in the long run. I guess it leads to more business for surgeons, pharmaceutical companies, and hospitals. So yeah, as immoral as it may seem, I have to exercise a bit of caveat emptor when it comes to medical diagnoses in this country.

It will be my mom’s birthday in a couple of days. Last year was horrible for me. It was started by the news regarding my health, and it just went downhill from there, one thing after another. God, I hope this year would be better.

Update: More tests, more bills. Despite the doctor’s reassurances, I feel more grim. Paying hospital bills hurts, but the waiting just adds more to the pain.

 

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Wakey wakey…

Morning

Why do I keep waking up at 4:44 am? I set up my alarm for 5:40 am, but for at least three nights in the past week, I’ve been waking up at 4:44 am. My wife is kinda creeped out with the idea, with Koreans thinking that 4 is the number of death and 4:44 being the worst time to wake up in the morning. She seriously thinks that it’s the stuff of nightmares, that maybe it’s an evil omen of sorts. But I’m just annoyed that I’m not getting a proper night’s rest. Either that or I’m developing the bladder of an old man.

Talking about the Asian fear of the number 4 (You don’t see it in elevators here. The fourth floor is signified by F)… or really, the primal fear of death, I’m not sure if I’m quite there yet. I fear pain, sure. I’m a coward for pain. But I’m not so sure if basically not existing is something to fear about. Fearing not existing in the world, seems a tad selfish and narcissistic to me. Don’t get me wrong, being alive is great. It’s awesome. At the very least, it’s better than being smothered in earth. I’m also not saying I don’t fear death. But life can get tiresome sometimes. Routine living can be dreadful, and maybe the end isn’t so bad, you know… when you get to hang out with all the cool dead people, or maybe have angel sex or something… whatever floats your boat. It’s just that the gateway to eternal bliss, or whatever it may be, is often precluded by a tremendous amount of pain. The song “Old Man River” should go, “I’m tired of living, but scared of the horrible pain that precludes eternal peace.” That’s why horror movies are often all shrieks, blood, and gore. Dying is often portrayed as painful and horrific, and we’re all scared to watch it. We’re not conditioned to be scared to watch people dying, after all, Clint Eastwood murdered Hilary Swank in that film, and no one has nightmares about that and wakes up at 4:44 am, all scared and sweaty. But people are afraid of experiencing pain prior to dying. I’ve yet to see a horror movie with a villainous specter that gets its victims to die peacefully in their sleep.

Now some might say that the fear of death is basically the fear of the unknown. I don’t know about that. I’m not sure if people truly fear the unknown. That’s why people gamble, or get married, or have kids, or move to another country, job, etc. People don’t really fear the unknown so much. Humans are driven by curiosity, the curiosity for the unknown. It’s the horrible pain that people might potentially be subjected to (especially during death)… that’s the unknown people fear.

I’m rambling. But that’s what I got to thinking about at 4:44 am today.

 

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