Thumbs Down


It seems that when I work toward being more social and outgoing to whatever degree I can tolerate it, something soon happens to crack down on it. I’m not the most social to begin with. As I’ve mentioned dozens if not hundreds of times here, I already stay off of social media stuff in general, or at least “blue sites” as I call them because of their shared blue accents, though now they’re more overall a blinding white, or maybe black if they’re smart enough to recognize the desire for a dark mode.

In the “meatverse”, I was going to more conventions as I got more comfortable with the idea of being in a crowd with people I don’t know who might share similar interests as me. By the time the modern eternal plague hit, that put a hold on things for roughly a couple years, but now I’m finally getting back into going to those when they show up, as they were also generally on hold as well. Hopefully that sticks. My usual office job stuff converted to teleworking with optional being able to go to the office itself, but I’ve generally stuck with the remote side as well. As a programmer, it’s just more convenient for me at least. At least there are occasional gatherings to hang out with co-workers I can be friends with.

As far as online goes, I left Tumblr and Twitter voluntarily, the former when they wanted to purge anything remotely “mature” even though I would have been personally unaffected and the latter when the modern eternal plague was just getting started because I knew it was just all downhill from there. I’ve been on Discord for some time for use as a general chat program, before then it was Skype, and whenever Discord ends up doing a certain thing that I don’t know what it will be but will ruin it regardless, I’ll just have to cooperate with who I know to figure out where we’re going next and hopefully come to a consensus there to not need to run 5 programs at once or end up with an absurd amount of spyware installed even for the modern age.

Two winters back, I decided to just go all in on setting up for VR for sake of wanderlust and put together a pretty decent machine with only a slightly faulty graphics card as that was what I could get at the time, but it still ran pretty great most of the time. Since then I’ve managed to replace the graphics card with something more modern since they’re one of the few things that went down in price recently and it works great. That’s all cool. My main thing was getting set up for playing Half-Life Alyx and Boneworks and H3VR and all those other cool VR games that seem to have set a pretty high bar. Then I decided to check out VRChat and somehow ended up logging a cumulative almost 1400 hours in it through a weird series of events where I encountered friend groups I’m hoping I can stick with in whatever game or not-game. That’s about to be tested as the VRChat team decided to really enforce their long-standing anti-mod policy under the guise of making things safer and more secure and has generally broken any semblance of trust people had for what is undoubtedly a corporate entity.

Long story short, throwing Epic’s idea of “the” anti-hacking measure to use because they want to dominate every aspect of the game industry in there has been a royal fuckup against their userbase to put it lightly. I don’t know how many people were using mods, and I wasn’t among them, but my stances are for mods and against DRM, and I’ve always had a nitpick about their anti-mod stance, though they would only seem to enforce it at random and poorly at that, maybe just sometimes banning people suspected of making mods because they wanted to take their anger out on someone for messing with their code despite not wishing any harm. In fact, some mods were used to prevent crashing by other means, potentially including the hacked clients that this “anti-cheat” thing is supposedly preventing. However, if you give hackers a challenge, they will take it, and this is apparently barely even a challenge to where it may as well just be the same old.

Among the other issues the platform has that could be at least partially resolved with some good old actual work on them, accessibility is a big one. Mods helped with that, and I know people who were using mods to even use the program safely and effectively. Given the rate of work the developers usually exhibit, trying to get those into the base program will take longer than most people are patient for. Patience is another thing here, as many users are flooding other programs, some of which are incapable of hosting even a small percentage of the capacity VRChat usually has.

At this rate, I just sometimes feel like it’s better to be a bit more antisocial than to try again, maybe do my best to keep in touch with whoever I’ve already met on the remaining pathways that still function for now. But maybe I just also needed a break, as I was logging on quite frequently for a time. I could try another one of those platforms in a week or so from now and see how it fares and if it’ll be viable in a longer term. I’ve already looked at Neos, it’s complicated as hell due to an unclear and largely undocumented UI, and there’s some optional crypto bullshit, and for all I know development may have stagnated, so it’s not my first choice if I have any others. ChilloutVR is the hot one that has no capacity to hold a panic migration and I don’t know if they’ll manage to increase that before people get tired of trying to get into non-working servers, and could just fall back into obscurity when people give up and either go back to VRChat or just give up entirely on VR itself. Facebook’s price jacking off on their Cockulus thing isn’t helping the case for VR, and they seem to love the potential they have to ruin it to where society ends up needing at least six more attempts at virtual reality as a whole to make it fully accepted to the public.

If the whole VR thing ends up being a relatively short-lived fad as well, I’m probably not just going to throw my kits in the bin like the usual iPhone user does with last year’s iPhone. Maybe I’ll sell some components if I need the cash or space, but I tend to thrive with outdated tech. I got Sega consoles long after the fact. And I’ve got a number of things to play in and out of VR as it is. Even if it’s all singleplayer. That’s just what I do usually. I just get sidetracked with the occasional MMO that pops up because it does a neat thing. It all eventually comes back to singleplayer most of the time. It might even work without a connection depending on the platform. Or it can be hacked to allow it.