Most people play the game: total immersion VR with full neural sync. But Hank lives it.
Here's a sample from the book:
Some gamers shave their heads. They say it makes the contact even better, but that’sbullshit. Some close their eyes, but Hank’s a hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool, blood-and-guts game-head. He keeps his eyes wide open. If you can’t face the sync, you shouldn’t play. Simple as that.
A shadow creeps across the ceiling, hiding the cracks in the plaster, the cobwebs. Hold on, Hank tells himself. Here it comes. And it begins. The darkness rushes in on Hank, and for a second, it’s dizzying, even for him. The chair falls away beneath him, and his mind spins. His stomach is suddenly hollow, and a bitter taste rises to the back of his throat. But Hank grits his teeth, swallows spit. Let it happen. It won’t be long now.
Yes. He can see his User Interface; the UI is always the first thing to appear. He runs his eye over his stats: all green, all good. Any moment now, he’ll be in the game. A message flashes across his UI, its bold red letters incredibly bright in the darkness:
AGRIPPINE EXPERIENCE: SYNCHRONIZATION COMPLETE
Hank lets out his breath in a sigh. He’s hooked up. From now on, all he needs are his thoughts.
Select game, he thinks. Unlimited Combat 9.
UNLIMITED COMBAT 9 SELECTED
Set profile: Sergeant Kilgore. Set mode: solo. Set difficulty: maximum.
Hank hesitates. Should he start a new mission? He’s kind of stuck on the last one. Maybe he’s gone as far as he can. No. To hell with that. Today will be different. Today, he’s going to crack this sucker wide open.
MISSION RESUMES IN 3, 2, 1
The darkness lifts, replaced by a cloudless blue sky. There’s a hint of smoke in the air and nearby, the rattle of automatic gunfire.
Hank smiles. I’m in.