'Alter Ego' VRcade Faces Criticism After Unexplained Player Deaths
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August 20th, 2246

A new chain of so-called VRcades is scrambling to understand why several of its most loyal players have suffered cortical stack failures while "uplinked" to its virtual world. Billed as "the ultimate VR escape," Alter Ego promises players the moon - literally.

The arcade's web portal says players will "realize their wildest fantasies, face their deepest fears, experience fantastic adventures, and make lifelong friends along the way" in its "fully-realized, 100% immersive VR simulation," which claims a 1:1 recreation of all explored space and offers "total freedom, without the consequences." And for an extra fee, players can customize the world to their liking in their own private instances called "dimensions." In these so-called dimensions, many popular works of fiction have been recreated, putting the player in the protagonist's shoes, and many original works have spawned, too.

All is not peachy in Alter Ego's virtual universe, however. The San Diego police department reports that eight "Alter Ego addicts" have turned up true-dead in VR pods, and the company claims that the nature of its tech makes investigating what those players were doing in their final moments next to impossible. Still, a spokesperson for Alter Ego Simulations Incorporated stressed that no deaths have been connected with its most popular simulations - "BrainWaves," a retro-themed zombie shoot-em-up where players face hordes of undead that has been criticized for its gratuitous and visceral gore, and "The Stalker," a multiplayer murder simulation where one player assumes the role of a shapeshifting alien and the other players must identify and eliminate them before the last human player is killed.

Some experts believe that a "bug" in the game code overloads players' minds, frying their cortical stacks. Others have a different explanation.

"This world was made for us by the Lord, man. These guys, they're making a new one, they're telling the Lord that the old one wasn't good enough. They're tempting His flock with depraved fantasies in that place. That place ain't nothing but another Sodom, it's the Devil's work, and the Lord is in all places, and He passes judgment on the very worst of those sinners, as He always has," explains Orville Waller, a local Methodist Reformative preacher. "Everyone, I urge you, the Lord urges you, if you feel the call to go into one of these places, resist. Resist Satan's whispers, and go to a house of God instead."

Whatever the case may be, Alter Ego's business is showing no signs of slowing. Two new franchises opened last week and were sold out before ever opening their doors. 

Alter Ego Simulations Incorporated is said to be cooperating with police investigations.
A little OOC note - you will be able to play the two named games by going to the VRcade on-server and picking the relevant machine. You'll be whisked away to another server running nZombies or Morbus (depending on your selection) and you can port back at any time from in-game, whereupon you'll spawn in the VRcade. These are public servers so you'll also be playing with/against players who probably have no idea what our RP server is.

We have others in mind too but this is experimental so we'll introduce more games as time goes on if these are popular, and of course there will be RP events based in VR as well, all within the Alter Ego sim.