Tag Archives: #VR

Bertauski, Tony: The Training of Socket Greeny (The Legend of Socket Greeny II) (2010)

To me The Training of Socket Greeny is, like The Discovery of Socket Greeny, about identity. But it is also very much about seeing things as they are. You know, seeing through the bullshit of the propaganda we are fed, and seeing through our expectations into reality. Which is kind of odd to me as much of the book happens in Virtual Reality (no, not for real).

And what a VR it is. Poor Socket draws out new abilities, but the cost of his new abilities is high. His trainer, Pon, puts him through a program that is enough to kill anyone. This is where VR is a good thing. Except some of the damage Socket sustains is real and he has to learn to transcend it. In fact, it seems as if that is what his training is about: transcending himself. Socket doesn’t understand what that entails and I am going to admit that I don’t either. Because how do we let go of our fears. In a sense, they are kind of comforting because we don’t have to think so much about what is going on. But there is a part of me that would love to be able to set them aside.

Socket also has to figure out if transcending himself means that he has to leave his old life and his old friends behind. When do we reach the point of not being able to give any more? Lots and lots of existential questions are being asked throughout the trilogy, questions that we sometimes forget to ask as we grow older. However, these are questions that a lot of youth ask themselves.

It wouldn’t be a Bertauski story if there wasn’t a lot of action thrown in with the deeper story. The action is excellent and probably too violent for some of you. There are also romantic bits.

Definitely recommended.


Reviews:


My review of The Discovery of Socket Greeny


The Training of Socket Greeny available on Audible, Amazon

 

Bertauski, Tony: The Discovery of Socket Greeny (The Legend of Socket Greeny I) (2010)

Sixteen years old and ripped away from all that was familiar into a new world where his whole identity needs to be re-discovered is pretty much what The Discovery of Socket Greeny was about for me.

My son is doing a paper on tourism, and in it he mentions the possibility of replacing our corporeal experiences with virtual reality ones. In the life of Socket Greeny and his friends technology has gotten to a point where this is possible. Teaching is done this way. Although the students come to a physical school and sit in classrooms with a teacher present, most of the teaching is done in VR rooms. Gaming takes on new meaning when you get to integrate yourself so fully into the experience.

But when Socket Greeny is taken from his friends he discovers that such immersion brings its own hazards, and that he is one of the tools needed to fight the dangers of the virtual world. The world he enters is brutal. His tests are intense. I suppose people who have gone through training as CIA spies would recognize the horrible invasiveness of it all. Yet Socket endures.

Much of that endurance is due to his friend Spindle. Spindle is always there for Socket. His patience and kindness is limitless. One might almost be tempted to think that he was programmed to be that way. And perhaps he was. But then again maybe not.

I am thrilled not to be Socket Greeny, but I am thankful for having met him and his unusual world. Definitely recommended.

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Reviews:


The Discovery of Socket Greeny available on Amazon US