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The world of Freedom Online is a Full Immersion Virtual Reality game where players around the world covet the chance to enter one of the over-demanded and undersupplied FIVR pods that the rich, or lucky lottery winners inhabit for their minimum one year term.

Written in the first person, the protagonist, Tandy, must fight to survive in an open-world fantasy setting filled with mythical creatures by crafting, building and creating not just things and buildings, but also friendships and relationships along the way.

My personal view on this one is that it's all about his unlikely best friend, a goblin named Ushuk who loves nothing more than seeing Tandy hurt himself.

Categories: LitRPG, Settlement Building, Progression Fantasy, Fantasy

Prologue

 

I had been awaiting the release of Freedom Online for so long. Ever since its first announcement trailer over two years ago, through the agonising delays and hiccups that the company, Rapture Entertainment, had announced I’d been positively salivating at the prospect of Full Immersion Virtual Reality, or FIVR. I’d also always known that the waiting lines were going to be horrific, but nothing could have prepared me for the kind of world that the game created.

The FIVR centres, where an individual could enter Freedom Online were limited to just a few locations around the world, twelve to be exact and with each centre only catering for the long-term immersion of a few thousand players, the spaces that hadn’t already been allocated to the world’s upper echelons and the elites that could afford it, were priced astronomically high.

Exclusivity was how Rapture Entertainment had skewed the supply and demand for its own product so that it could make back all of the money that it’d spent on researching the technologies and systems needed to make FIVR a reality. Their process was simple, create a huge worldwide buzz around Freedom Online and then limit the available places to create an absolute bidders frenzy. I had to admit that it had worked an absolute treat.

Personally, I had no hope in the world of ever getting a place in a FIVR centre, but that little fact didn’t stop Freedom Online occupying nearly every waking thought I had and most of my dreams too. Actually, when I’d done the math, I would’ve had to have sold everything I owned, then worked rent and rate free for over ten years to be able to afford the minimum one-year term in a pod. A man could dream, but in short, no matter how mouth-watering the prospects of FIVR were to me, it would always be destined to remain simply a dream.

The one-year minimum term was initially touted in the media as the thing that would bring ‘Rapture Entertainment to its knees’ or otherwise prevent the mass adoption of the game and FIVR systems in general. The term was introduced because the human mind was not entirely happy with being dropped in and out of reality as the company had initially supposed. After long independent studies, mild brain damage had begun to occur if the player was able to log on and off of the system repeatedly – or after ‘persistent changes to their reality’ as they put it, but after six months the damage would repair itself. Rapture Entertainment chose a minimum year term to add in a factor of safety and to save face somewhat with both the powers that be and the media swarm that surrounded Freedom Online.

Regardless of the long-term nature of being a part of Freedom Online, this didn’t seem to stop the world from becoming enamoured by the prospect of actually becoming somebody else, no matter how virtual that person may be.