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Item - The Reality Machine

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 142
Translated Into: La máquina de la realidad (Spanish)
La máquina de realidad virtual (Spanish)
La màquina de realitat virtual (Catalan)
Author: Packard, Edward
Illustrators: Huerta, Catherine (cover)
Brigman, June (interior)
Date: 1993
Jordashebasics's Thoughts:

Because you really like an arcade VR game, you are approached by the company owner to try out the next-generation VR game. You are presented with two games, dealing with Space and Time.

This book feels a lot like You Are Microscopic, another Packard adventure. In both cases, some scientist seems to skip all ethical considerations and offer you the opportunity for an absurdly dangerous situation.

There's very little gaming involved in the book. With each of the primary paths, you get a "game" that sets up some of the ability of the space or time skills. Then you get the "level two" experience. This has those skills applied to real life. Yes. You are effectively given super powers by a computer chip placed behind your ear.

Using different chips, you can speed up time, or slow it down. Not just the experience of time, but you actually speed up or slow down your body processes. In normal CYOA fashion, this gives you the opportunity to excel at sports.

On the other side, a chip allows you experience things you imagine as if they were real. The incredible level of danger this involves isn't explored as much as it should be, but you get at least one path where you freak out and are stuck in the fantasy.

This has the normal Packard style, and there are a few things that are annoying, but it's actually a pretty decent book. I don't know if I'd come back to it, but it's actually a bit more memorable than I expected.

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stevesterling - This copy is in very good condition.

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