It was probably 2030 by now. Or was it 2029? I wasn’t sure. It will make it about 5 years since I became the King of this kingdom. A part of my brain screamed, “What the hell does it matter either way?” But I quieted it, as I always did.
Being an orphan with no friends, video games had been my best friends, my companions in all those years of loneliness.
So, when a new game, War Of Royale’s, a virtual reality where you are truly be made Kings of your kingdom arrived, it was the dream comes true for me. I didn’t even blink an eye before volunteering as its beta tester and literally stepping into a virtual game.
The developers had warned me that system will be a little buggy. I had to act as a king, building an empire with my virtual citizens and if all goes well, they will have another king or queen in next kingdom and have us fight each other.
Stan was a loner just like me. And a fierce king. We had secretly befriended each other, being the only two living beings in the game. He was the only ever friend I had. The child care system wasn’t really full of friendly kids, especially for a loner like me.
We were both excited when The Ultimate Battle began. We got to test our skills as gamers and kings.
It was the third phase of the event when the system made us fight with each other. King Vs. King. It was then that I realized how much of a reality this virtual world was.
Stan and I engaged in a brutal sword fight. My glowing blue blade clashed with his red one. Every time it hit each other, golden sparks flew out, making everything surreal and beautiful. But wars weren’t beautiful, even in a game.
Dodging Stan’s blade, I spun around and in a complete Hercules move, stabbed my blade right through Stan’s side. I expected more golden sparks. Or maybe a splash of fake blood. Or pixel Game-Over. But real blood flowing down Stan’s side while he screamed in utter agony was not something I expected. Or something I was ready for.
Dropping down beside Stan, who was writhing in pain, I screamed for help. To stop this game, shut down. Anything, at all. Nothing happened. And just like that, I lost the only friend I ever had to a game that should have been virtual. Unreal.
Needless to say, Stan was gone. They told me he was just eliminated, but I knew reality. That was probably the time when I was able to tell real from a lie better than I ever could.
I still don’t know if I was happy, disappointed or terrified when the technical team informed me that the testing has failed and I will be inside the game for some more time. Some more time? 5 years wasn’t just some more time. It felt like even the developers have forgotten that they made a human-being step into the game that never got to step out of it because of a “minor technical error”.
I noticed the candles around my royal chamber was dim. It was a great graphic design to represent that sun was coming out. It was time to get up and face the world.
Sighing I get up, remembering what my caretaker once told me, “Virtual reality is not the real reality, boy! Stop this or you’ll be left playing a video game all your life while the world moves on without you!”
Sitting on the throne like the King that I was, I smiled, which wasn’t really a happy smile. Real or not, this was my reality now. I had wanted to play video games all my life. It seems like I am getting my wish. No wonder they said, be careful what you wished for.