Life advice, via Are You Afraid of the Dark (index) (random)

Dear Gary,

I’m becoming part of the game—physically.  My hand has a parallel port:

And this man would like to plug it in:

He says he’s a “virus,” and he needs me to jump into the real world.  It was supposed to just be virtual reality—fun!—but now everything’s gone wrong.  I don’t want the dwarf to plug me.  What should I do?


Virtually Terrified

* * *

Dear Virtually Terrified,

Uh oh!  Looks like your innocuous child’s play has taken a nasty turn into venereal horror.  The particular tech-focused variation on venereal horror you’re experiencing is most characteristic of David Cronenberg circa Videodrome.  Have you seen Videodrome?  I really recommend it!  It’s about old-school cable, and it features Debbie Harry demanding that James Woods burn her with cigarettes during sex.  As far as plot goes, Cronenberg would explore terrain more similar to your specific predicament with 1999’s eXistenZ—although this was really coming in at the end of a very long train of virtual reality thrillers that became a popular Hollywood go-to after the massive success Total Recall but which, by 1995, had reached its nadir thanks to a flurry of overblown, underwhelming releases such as Strange Days, Virtuosity, and Johnny Mnemonic.  My personal favorite of this entire string of 90’s virtual reality thrillers is Brainscan, which lacks the ambition of the previously mentioned movies but is, consequently, much more unhinged and campy:

Of course, this should be of no help to you.  As far as escaping, I’m sure you can just override the code, or hack into the mainframe, or whatever.  However, I’ve seen enough Cronenberg movies to know that this isn’t going to end well for you.

Guess you shouldn’t have let the game play you.

As ever,


  • 12 October 2012
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