When Virtual Sex Becomes Real

13 Oct

The picture above was taken at the entrance to the Quarterz virtual world, setting for my new novella, Snatch Me. Snatch Me explores the blurring of boundaries between reality and virtual reality. I used a little author trickery to recreate that blurring for readers. My editor Grace Bradley told me she could remember exactly where she was and what time it was, when she started reading my submission and I flipped that reality switch the first time. Grace likes to read a submission before she reads the blurb or synopsis we include. She said she wishes there wasn’t a blurb with Snatch Me and readers could experience that switch in just the way she did.

So there’s a challenge for you, stop reading here, go grab a copy of the book and start reading without looking at the blurb.

Or…

You can stay with me and learn just what it is about virtual reality that has such an intense impact on people. I could trot out the research data, complete with links and book titles. I could step you through the elements of immersion and explain how it deepens as you interact with an object inworld that responds to your action, and the environment responds in a “real-world” fashion: clouds move across the sky, trees move with the wind, shadows change with the time of day. But why not just take you into the world and let you see for yourself? You can get there through this link, or you can play the video below to see a sample.

We start with two avatars in one of the worlds I created when I was writing Snatch Me. They’re sitting on a dock in the Quarterz Swamp. They start off not really looking at each other, but note, he’s done that guy thing, put his hand so his fingertips are just resting on top of hers. He’s looking away, like he doesn’t notice. So is she. But they notice. Check the little glances they aim at those hands when the other isn’t looking. This is the beginning of immersion, that quality of VR that makes it feel so real to the people interacting. The mist rises around them, moonlight turns it silver, they hear the water splash, hear the crickets chirp. No mosquitoes to pull them out of fantasy. Research says it takes about 3-5 minutes for immersion to take over and a person becomes their avatar, much like a reader slips inside the skin of a character in a story. Adventures experienced in virtual reality have a real impact on the people behind the avatar. What you conquer virtually feels like something you conquered in reality. The difference being, you can venture down virtual dark allies and live to tell about it.

The picture we started with at the top of the blog post is what Jolie (aka SnatchMe) wants. She’s challenged by the capture role-play game she can play there in the Quarterz. She feels a kinship with the post-apocalyptic setting, a world too broken to fix.

The video is what Mack wants. He’s falling in love with Jolie, but before he can have his dream of dancing in the moonlight, making love under the stars, he’s got to find a way to fix a girl broken by grief. How?

I’d like to show you, but the cure is an exotic, erotic adventure that would get me booted off YouTube, Facebook, and possibly even Twitter. So for now, I’ll just refer to paragraph 2 above. You’ll find a link in the front of the book that will take you to the Quarterz virtual world settings from Snatch Me if you want to explore them on your own. Take a friend for twice the fun. Meet your S.O. there for some fantasy role-play. Have fun.

Meantime, a small band of brave souls ventured into the Quarterz virtual world as part of my pre-release contest. Today we’re announcing the contest winners. First I’d like to thank editor Grace Bradley, author Kellie Jamieson, and friend Lilly Blue for playing lab rat to help me test my creations and for playing along in the game even though they weren’t entered for prizes.

The first winner I’d like to congratulate is Michelle Bauer. Michelle was the points leader, managing to get more than twice the points of any other player even though technical difficulties kept her from entering any of the virtual worlds. Michelle, you won a copy of Snatch Me and you won your own copy of one of the Quarterz worlds that you can unzip and explore right on your computer. Contact me with your choice of format for the book.

Next, I know you’re all waiting for it, *insert drum roll”…

Mary Gyp. Congrats, Mary. I’m trying to contact you.

Thanks, everyone, for playing. I hope you enjoy, Snatch Me.

~Nara

Snatch Me–Sex Bytes Exotika
The Dungeon Gourmet –BDSM Romance
The Tiger’s Tale–Shapeshifter Romance
From Orchid Games–Spirit Walker’s: Curse of the Cypress Witch
NaraMalone.com Taking Romance into the Next Dimension

5 Responses to “When Virtual Sex Becomes Real”

  1. Jody F. October 13, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    Yeah, Michelle steamrolled the competition. So, I’m glad she’s got some great reading material coming her way. Congrats Mary on her big win as well. I thought we still had a week or two left of the contest, but I guess I got so caught up in my daily check-ins that I lost track of time.

    Great job everybody!

    • naramalone October 13, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      Hey, Jody. Thank you for playing along. You added so much to the experience. I hope you enjoy your Amazon cards and hope you accumulate enough to get that Kindle Fire your after.

      • Jody F. October 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

        Thanks for all your hard work in putting the contest together and your generosity. And I’m halfway to my goal. Woo-Hoo!

  2. Marilyn Campbell October 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Sounds so fantastic! Grabbing it asap!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Digital You « virtualDavis - December 7, 2011

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