A young man was playing PlayStation when he felt something hit his head. “It felt like if you’re wearing a bike helmet and someone just smacks the top of your head,” he said.
He looked around and saw a bullet hole in his window. Then, he freaked out, worried he’d been shot in the head.
After some investigation, it became clear that he was alright. Why? The bullet struck his gaming headset, bounced off a wall, then ended up in his bed.
Turning this into a story, what if the bullet went through the headset and carried a chip into his brain? Later, the young man discovers he can access his game by using his mind.
Like Spiderman’s Doc Ock, the chip fuses with his spine—doctors can remove the bullet but not the stray material from the headset. The story opens with him waking up in the hospital and his mother explaining what happened.
After extensive testing, he doesn’t show any signs of brain damage, so doctors let him go home. He puts on his new gaming headset (sent as a replacement by the company that heard about the shooting) and launches a new game, but he soon realizes he doesn’t need the controller to play his favorite shooter.
Major gaming companies line up, offering him money so they can research his condition in hopes of replicating it for future video game players. The young man and his single mother deal with courting massive offers from large companies, making them rich overnight.
He becomes one of the top-ranked players globally because of his direct connection to the game. An argument within the gaming community breaks out, accusing him of cheating since he isn’t using his hands on a controller or mouse & keyboard. The young man and his mother deal with mountains of negative press about his “false” victories, paralleling today’s discussions about trans athletes.
While all of this is happening, the young man just wants to live his everyday life. There’s a girl in school who he had his eye on, and he finally gets enough courage to talk to her. But, she just wants to hang out with him because she knows about his massive deals with the tech companies. He’s left sad, hurt, and confused.
The story culminates with a worldwide tournament, which starts right after he realizes that his dream girl only wants him for his money. He starts playing poorly and loses. He’s on the verge of being eliminated when his best friend asks him if they’re still on for their annual camping trip, and at that moment, he realizes that he has people in his life that are there for him regardless of his success or failure.
Inspired, he comes back to win the tournament.
Future stories could deal with interest from the military for drone operators and an entire factory of bodies kept in suspended animation whose only job is controlling external robots (or digital characters) with their minds.