1. Member Since 22nd Sep, 2011
  2. offline for 4h, 25m

I'm the creator of Otakuworld.com, Jenniverse.com, the computer game Boppin', numerous online comics, novels, and tons of other wonderful things. I really love MLP:FiM.

Total Words: 1,380,364
Estimated Reading: 3 days, 20 hours

Blog Posts88

  • 21w, 5d
    Up And Running, Seriously.

    41 comments · 1,059 views
  • 23w, 2d
    The Last Conversion Bureau Novel Will Be Finished

    24 comments · 355 views
  • 24w, 6d
    My Recent Polish MLP Magazine Interview!

    25 comments · 365 views
  • 28w, 2d
    Petal's Corollary To The Bostrom Simulation Argument


    Petal's Corollary To The Bostrom Simulation Argument

    By Petal Chatoyance


    1. Unless avoiding pain and seeking pleasure and satisfaction becomes irrelevant, post-human civilizations will primarily create fantastic and heavenly simulations of reality in which to reside in, where all needs are met, and all desires are fulfilled.

    2. Unless the fundamental need for novelty, contrast in experience, and avoidance of boredom becomes irrelevant, post-human civilizations will place a special premium on simulated realities that serve these drives even if they should cause suffering.

    3. The establishment of horrifically accurate simulations of the chaotic, unpredictable, and experientially authentic pre-Singularity world will occur, in sufficient number to meet the demand of bored or jaded post-human consciousnesses.




        

    41 comments · 470 views
  • 32w, 5d
    Virtual Reality Followup: PSVR

    VR: Virtual Reality

    Followup: Playstation VR


    A few days ago, I got to try the Playstation VR system. I'd like to tell you about that experience.

    In my last blog, I described the strengths and weaknesses, as I perceive them, for both the Vive and the Rift. They are both good systems, they both work well. The Vive, to recap, allows you to walk around in what amounts to a holodeck, interacting with the virtual world - picking up things, throwing things, crouching down, standing up, exploring a room-sized space. The Rift demands that you sit or stand on one place and never physically walk around. You use an Xbox Controller instead of hand-held graspers. You push buttons and move with the stick. The Vive never causes motion sickness, the Rift does, sometimes. The Vive is very expensive, and finicky to set up, but when it works, nothing beats it. The Rift is lighter, easy to set up and use, and vastly more convenient, it is also slightly cheaper.

    Let me tell you about the Playstation VR, once called the 'Morpheus'.

    The device is light. It weighs less than the Rift. It does not have built-in earphones or a built-in microphone. You have to supply those. It connects to a small box that connects to the Playstation 4. The small box does the work that allows the PS4 to both show the virtual world for the player using the VR headset AND also show the same scene on a television. This allows a person wearing a headset to play co-op with another person in the same room.

    The PSVR device is supported on the head by a kind of 'crown' - not quite a halo - from which the visor 'hangs'. The visor can be pulled forward on a rail, and slid back to cover the eyes. This makes it very convenient for glasses. All of this also means that the system is cool - it does not bake the face like the Vive and the Rift. Air circulates easily, and the eyeballs do not get hot. More than this, it makes the system fit any person easily, and not get all sticky or gooey with skin oils between players.

    The PSVR, according to the stats, has only a 90 degree field of view, compared to the 110 degree field of the Rift and Vive. I did not notice. Because of the way the device works, the perceived field of view appeared identical to me. I honestly could not tell. More than that, it actually felt less like looking through a pair of swimming goggles - a problem both the Vive and the Rift share. Despite the given stats for the machine, it actually felt wider and less confining.

    More importantly, the PSVR has more pixels in the display, and the refresh is faster - 90 times a second instead of a max of 60. That difference is incredibly important, as I discovered much to my surprise. Fast refresh and more pixels helps so incredibly much. The 'screendoor' pixel view is much less than on the other two machines. But best of all - the result is no simulation sickness... at least for me, and for my spouse Stephen too - and he is VERY prone to simulation sickness.

    I played VR Battlezone. It's an updated, very Tron-like vision of the old quarter-muncher. I slid my anti-grav future-tank all over the landscape, weaving and spinning and zooming and firing in every direction - including up high - and never once felt dizzy or ill. The view was clear,  butter-smooth, and had zero judder. It was smoother than a babies' butt. I was very, very impressed. I did not expect it to be that damn good.

    I did not try the 'Move' controllers with it. Like the Vive, the Move controllers act as 'hands' in the world, allowing the player to hold objects. It is of note that one of the coolest games for the Vive 'Job Simulator' is actually coming out for the PSVR. In that game, you walk around a space and use your virtual hands to fix cars, make sandwiches and soups, type on computers, answer old fashioned phones, and even throw office supplies across the room. If the PSVR can handle that game, damn, it can likely do just about anything the Vive can do.

    And this astonished me. I expected the PSVR to be a sort of 'budget Rift' not a Vive-killer. I did not expect a better view by any means. I was, to put it bluntly, utterly blown away.

    The PSVR, in short, is the bomb.

    And by that, I mean that it is the cheapest, most powerful, most easy-to-use truly complete VR system of the three. Anybody could use this thing, anybody. It's basically as easy as using a controller. It is not finicky. It works well. The view is... excellent. Better than the Rift, zero question, and... I hate to say this... possibly even better than the Vive. How? How in all of hell is Sony pulling this off?

    Well, I've thought about that. Sony has been making head-mounted displays for nearly a decade. To watch movies. Mostly sold in Japan, the devices allow Japanese people in small rooms to enjoy the equivalent of a large-screen television. Going one step further, and making a VR headset out of that is not very much of a stretch. They had a secret head-start, in a way.

    Sony has also had the advantage of watching both HTC/Valve and Oculus stumble and make things work. They may have come last, but that apparently just means they can benefit from the work of those before. The result: I am more convinced than ever of my predictions.

    My predictions, if you have forgotten, are these:

    The Vive is the most impressive overall, but it is too expensive and fussy and complex for most people.

    The Rift is easy, slightly cheaper, and not fussy at all... but it is still limited and locked (for most users) to Oculus itself.

    The PSVR will ultimately win the VR race, and make Virtual Reality not only commonplace, but in time, the standard way to play games. It is the most affordable of all, works fantastically, is easy and simple, is the only truly consumer VR device, and... it keeps your face comfortable.

    Plus, there are 40 million PS4 units out there. 40 Million 'just plug it in and it works' potential VR customers who already have the base machine. All they have to do is buy the headset, and bam: VR funtown.

    That's kind of hard to beat.

    So, that's my report. I have now played all three VR systems and can now render considered judgement. All three are good, and VR really is as amazing as people claim. It isn't just 'sticking a screen on your face'. It is being somewhere else, other than earth. It is genuinely astonishing, and if you have not experienced it personally, you have nothing useful or real to say about the matter. It is that big of a deal.

    But, that said, the Vive is amazing but expensive and fussy, the Rift is less amazing but serviceable, and the PSVR is the easiest of all, and the least expensive, and it looked and felt just as good - or better - than the other two.

    If I could only afford one of the three systems, I would... I guess I would probably go with PSVR. Yes, the Vive is all that and a bag of very large chips. Yes, the Rift is easy and it works. But damn, Playstation is going to have the games. It's going to have it all and... if past experience is any guide, the PSVR will be adaptable to work with a PC, just like the PS controller and headphones... at least eventually. I think that suggests that the PSVR will... basically do it all, and for less than half the price.

    Maybe so. But I would not trade the incredible, magical experiences I have had on the HTC/Valve Vive for anything. I want that noted. Just blew me away.

    Honestly, though, I spend way more time on the Rift. It's just so damn easy. All I have to do is slap it on my face. That's it. Bam, I'm in. There isn't much to do, but... it's just that easy.

    When the PSVR is released in October... I will be there. Already long on order. I'm a gamer. PSVR is... I think it's going to be the place to be for most folks.

    I don't regret getting all three, mind you. It is wonderful to have the privilege of comparing and contrasting. Each headset has its own charms. And, this is the beginning of history, this is a historic moment. Virtual reality will change our world. It will change our lives... I think, within 20 years, it will be as important to rich first-worlders as the internet has been to the world. It may be our very damnation, but... it will be necessary, not just a luxury.

    But not yet. Not for two decades. For now, we have the Rift and the Vive and soon, the PSVR.

    Let me tell you about one more experience.

    Last night, I was in a virtual world called 'ALTspace VR'. It's kind of a simple chat-room / game-room meeting place online. Anyone with VR can enter - any kind of VR. Doesn't matter the brand or make or model. You got a Cardboard VR on a cell phone, you can be there.

    I was chatting with three other people. I turned around to study my own robot body in a nearby mirror. I leaned forward and tried to see myself in my glowing electric eyes. My body there is white and heliotrope, smooth and rounded, sort of like a tall version of EVE from Wall-E. I tilt my head, and my robot head tilts because it is my real head, there.

    One of the people-bots I was chatting with was from Germany, another from California, the third from Utah. We stood about a meter apart, more or less. We talked about VR, I admired the fact that the German man had real hands and fingers. He was using a device called a 'Leap-Motion' that represents real hands in the virtual world. His flesh fingers represented in the virtual space. He could do sign language with them.

    I was there, with those people. In that room, a room that looked like a futuristic lounge. I could gaze into the mirror, I could watch the large television on the wall (it was silently running some music video). I could speak naturally, and they could too. I was there.

    Yet, there, didn't exist. Not really. German-guy was in his morning, sitting at a computer. The other guys were sitting or standing in California and Utah. Yet... we were together, in a real space, a real place, walking around each other. I stood next to the german man's robot body and leaned over to study his fingers up close.

    When I quit - it was four in my morning - I lifted my Rift off my face and blinked several times. I was in my chair, at home. Yet, I had just been standing somewhere else, somewhere somehow real.

    I now finally understand... how I can be in two places at once, when I am not anywhere at all.

    Someday, in the future, somebody is going to die in some virtual place, like the one I was in last night. They are just going to slump to the floor, and people will gather around, and then they will de-rezz, as the paramedics unplug them. Later, people will hear that they died while in VR.

    And you just know that when that happens - and it will - people will start putting virtual flowers, and crosses, and virtual messages on that place, inside the virtual world, to mark the person who died - like how people do now on the side of roads where terrible accidents happen.

    And later, people, inside VR, will pass by that place, with the virtual flowers, and whisper about how somebody died there, right there, on that spot.

    And some part of me spins, mind akimbo, at the question: where did that person actually die?

    Did they die in some room, in front of a machine, or did they die in a virtual place that cannot be pointed to? Because I think the answer is valid either way. If all of your senses are certain you are someplace, then, in a very real sense, you are. You are where your brain tells you that you are - you cannot know anything else. Reality is what you perceive, not what actually is. Reality - an any human sense - is personal.

    And this thought, this issue, is not some far-future Conversion Bureau World science fiction thing, neither is it some 'not yet or ever' Optimalverse situation. It's real, right now. It could happen tomorrow. It could be on the news tomorrow. It will happen, someday. VR is here, right now, and I spend some evenings in it, talking to people and rolling D&D dice on a table that is not there, or looking at myself in a virtual mirror, trying to see my soul in my digital eyes. That is happening now, folks.

    I think this is a time to be aware of these changes. It may be that things like Ready Player One and the Optimalverse may be much closer than we silly fiction writers truly realize.

    Ain't that a thought?










    20 comments · 401 views
Viewing 1 - 10 of 26 stories
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It is Year Five, and Dr. Calloway Kotani is stuck in evacuated Peru. The Barrier moves relentlessly inland at 14 kilometers per day. It never stops. It never slows down. No Potion. No rescue. South America is 4353 kilometers wide. Run, Dr. Kotani. Run for your life.

First Published
25th Jun 2015
Last Modified
13th Aug 2015
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Chang'e has a nanotitanium-carbon spine and a quantum chipset for brains. Her fur and organs are vat-grown engineered flesh. She is an artificial cat, existing in the age of the Conversion Bureaus. The ponies are here, the world is ending, and the humans that made her kind are escaping to another universe where sentient machines cannot go. What then of Man's electric children, the Artificial Intelligences of the doomed earth?

This novel is a companion work to CODE: Majeste and other books as well.

First Published
3rd Jun 2015
Last Modified
14th Jun 2015
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Newfoal reporter 'Frontpage' has always yearned for the ultimate scoop. A last minute assignment for the centennial of Zero Point - the last moment of the doomed earth - leads not only to the biggest story of his career, but the greatest secrets of Equestria... and far, far beyond.

This is a partial sequel to HUMAN In Equestria, but knowledge of that story is not required to enjoy it. This is the final Conversion Bureau novel.

First Published
13th Jul 2014
Last Modified
27th Sep 2016
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Polymorphic Stories of Today and Tomorrow: a collection of varied and diverse pony short stories. Here you will find stories strange and curious, comedic and tragic, adventurous and thoughtful, all introduced by the author.

First Published
14th Sep 2013
Last Modified
11th Jan 2016
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Petra Alice Bettencourt, a child of the lost Earth's ruling corporate elite, nears her fourteenth birthday. The earth is years gone now, and Petra lives on with the elite in special mansions on the backside of Canterlot Mountain. But Petra, like all the Worldgovernment elite, has had her experience of Equestrian life determined by the agreement that made the Conversion Bureaus possible at all - she is still completely human, in Equestria.

First Published
27th Jun 2013
Last Modified
16th Aug 2013
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A young woman awakens transformed into an Equestrian pony - yet no other human being can perceive her new body in any way whatsoever. With clumsy hooves, but a bright mind, Gregoria Samson must trust in herself to discover the incredible, monumental truth behind her impossible change.

As Featured On Equestria Daily!

First Published
21st Feb 2013
Last Modified
24th Jun 2013
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At the heart of every Conversion Bureau is 'potion', the nanotechnomagical serum that converts a human into an Equestrian. But before the Bureaus could exist, the serum had to be created first. This is the story of how the first successful conversion serum was developed, and of the humans and ponies that made it possible.

First Published
28th Dec 2012
Last Modified
24th Jan 2013
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Set in the Optimalverse, a middle-aged woman enamored of 'Equestria Online' confronts what permanent emigration to Equestria - uploading to a virtual existence - really means... but can she even hope to truly understand such a thing - and more importantly, can she trust the artificial intelligence known as 'Celestia'?

As Horrified Eliezer Yudkowsky!

First Published
14th Dec 2012
Last Modified
25th Dec 2012
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Los Pegasus is the new name of what was once Los Angeles. The Equestrian barrier, now on land, approaches, and with it Inclusion Day, where the city will become part of Equestria. Both converted Newfoals and the last humans all have their own stories to tell as this final event in the life of their city approaches.

First Published
24th Jun 2012
Last Modified
11th Dec 2012
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After the end of the Earth, a group of Newfoals form a society to fight back against their forced ponifications. Working against their new pony brains, they seek to bring Celestia herself to heel and force justice for the slights they feel they have endured. Soon their organization grows beyond their imagination, and Equestria is changed forever.

First Published
25th May 2012
Last Modified
17th Jun 2012