On Wednesday afternoon, between doing paperwork, tending to sick students, filming K-poppers, dealing with phone issues, finalising Friday’s travel arrangements and finishing up business at Lexis, Parky too me to Samsung D’light. I was attending to other duties when Parky and Yong-mi took the kids there last week. I miust say it was an interesting experience. I had my personality test done on a series of machines that look like something from the coming century; iPad (well Samsung devices) as big as a wall; cameras tracking your movements in 3 dimensions and playing them like a hologram thingo into the next room; and the piece de resistance, the 4D Virtual Reality machine. I had to do it twice. You sat in an armchair and put on a VR mask. They made you wear a seat belt, and I was thinking that that was ridiculous, it’s an armchair, why would I need a seatbelt? Well sir, I did. I would have fallen out of that thing without it, no doubt in my mind. It was the single most freaky experience of my life. It is extremely hard to describe something that I didn’t even know existed until yesterday. If you haven’t used a 4D VR machine you cannot possible imagine what it is like by reading these words, but I will give a brief rundown nonetheless. The VR machine was a rollercoaster into which you sat and had a metal harness come over you fom the rails above you (none of this existed of course, but you really couldn’t tell). The graphics did not look cartoonish, they didn’t even look like a television, they looked like what you see when you open your eyelids on a perfectly normal day (except you are being loaded into a rollercoaster, which is not a normal day for me). When turning your head everything turned as normal, like you were sitting in a roller coaster and looking around. It went up – up – up and then BLAM! Away it went, looping the loop, swirling and twirling, faster-slower, then slowly you are sitting in a chair, rising and rising and rising; BANG! a 100 foot vertical drop from sitting upright in your chair (I remember yelling “THIS IS NOT OKAY!!!”. I have no idea where that phrase came from) and then the twist comes … you hit the bottom of the drop and the rollercoaster loops out in such a fashion that you are now hanging from it rather than sitting on it. You are now hanging with your chest pressing into the harness, high above an alpine-looking region of somewhere (you are of course still actually sitting in a seat). The rollercoaster starts spinning and spinning and throwing you around in the harness with nothing below you but a few hundred feet of air and some very pointy snow covered fir trees. I can state categorically that it was the most frightened I have ever been in my life, even more that when I was once stuck for half an hour in a real gondola with a few hundred feet of real air between me and some real fir trees. At least we were IN the gondola, not hanging from it. And we were stuck, not hurtling through time and space like it’s the last day on earth. That’s it. There’s nothing more that is useful to add, apart from maybe this, I will guarantee you that the experience was a factor of 10 more exhilarating than whatever you pictured when you were reading that paragraph. Wow, just … really wow.
(BTW, the results of my personality test were that I am calm, modest and reliable. Apparently the job I am most suited to is Euphoria Curator and the below photograph is what the world would have looked like if I had designed it. I think the Samsung Execs rode the roller coaster a few too many times before working on the personality tester)