While many search for “how to move to Canada” today, I just want to distract myself while I avoid burying my head in the sand. I feel bad about the world today, but I must remember that we live at a time where technology is magic and I have the opportunity to mobilize. The ways in which I choose to escape the world today include distractions that aren’t distractions at all. Today I bring you a list of technology-driven activities that are fueled by hope for a better future – along with a few easy escapes if you’re not quite there yet.
1. Escape with Games
At times when I cannot deal with the world around me, games are here. We’re living in a time where games are more intense and immersive than ever before. Multiplayer games like Titanfall allow me to play both online and offline in a futuristic world where my main concern is keeping myself out of harm’s way while I make the other team’s robots explode.
At the same time, I also need to watch myself when I get to a place where I’m likely to play a game as an escape. I have an addictive personality and attention deficit disorder – because of this, I can play a game like Auralux for hours on end. I can also dive into a game like Civilization 6 for extreme amounts of time without distraction.
2. Escape with Metal
The first thing I did today when I got home from my long walk with my dog was to turn on some music. The first random track that came on was “Postmortem” by Slayer. It was the perfect tune to excite my brain into action – lyrics aside, of course.
I could just as easily started listening to something depressing, but I didn’t. Today I needed to escape my mood, if not turn it around entirely. Metal Santa Tom Araya screaming words of darkness is inspiring me to left myself up today. Tenacious D is doing a lot of good things for my brain this early afternoon, too.
3. Escape with Virtual Reality
The greatest virtual reality headset in the world right now is the HTC Vive. Community support of the device and its software have been top notch. The games and VR experiences available for the headset are immensely impressive. I’ve had zero complaints about my experience with this headset in the weeks and months I’ve had it available to me.
If I wasn’t in a position to be able to use (or afford) the HTC Vive, I’d still be all about the capabilities of the Google VR universe. Google has a VR headset made of cardboard that’s as inexpensive as it gets – under certain circumstances it’s free. They also have it available for sale now straight through the Google Store for a cool $15 USD.
Below you’ll see an image of a Homido virtual reality headset. This is one of a collection of inexpensive virtual reality headsets we’ve assembled in a collection for your perusal. It does not cost a lot of cash to (legally) enter another reality right this minute, not a lot at all.
4. Escape with Movies, Documentaries, and smart TV
We’re living in an era of plenty when it comes to streaming media and instant availability of all manner of video. If I want to watch any movie I’ve seen in the past 30 years, I can do so with relative ease, instantly. No matter my mood, I can find a video that matches it, or allows me to distract myself, or to engage in a learning experience.
I’m attempting to encourage myself after I’ve allowed myself some down time with entertainment. TED Talks is a great place for me to find a wide variety of educational bits and pieces, and it’s free. TED Talks offers free apps on almost every device I own, all for free, with all videos available at all times.
5. Mobilize with Artwork
As Microsoft reminded us at their most recent hardware event, we’re living at a time where creating art is a big business. Being creative, for me, is more than just a job, it’s a necessity. Having tools like the iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil make illustrating pictures ready for distribution easier and more fun than it’s ever been for me before.
With tablets of all sorts – and devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – I can turn my ideas into digital designs with swiftness. I’m able to go big with a device like the Wacom Cintiq 27 QHD for a massive workspace. Or I can keep my drawing space reasonably mobile with a first-gen NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet (with stylus).
6. Mobilize with Games
While there’s certainly something to good about escaping with games, there’s also an era of active games coming. Take for instance Pokemon GO, a game made by Niantic that requires users to get up and go outside to play. I’d quit playing for a while after it was clear that a LOT of users were cheating, now it seems that Niantic has gotten things under control again – users are walking for real!
Before Pokemon GO there was Ingress, a game built on the same engine as Pokemon GO. A lot of Pokemon GO uses similar markers of importance to Ingress, so switching back and forth between games can be rewarding, too. For those of you that wish to try something similar, but far more terrifying, see the games “The Silent History” and “Zombies, Run!”
7. Get Secure with a quick Blackout Teardown
Now more than ever before, it is important to know how to communicate in a way that is as secure as possible. Secure from everyone, including the government. Maybe now especially from the government. As such, here’s a video which shows how to turn your smartphone into a phone that’s gone black.
This is just one measure you may want to take. Also important is seeking out encryption in your chat apps. WhatsApp, iMessage, Allo, and a few others now feature end-to-end encryption for secure delivery of data. You may also want to seek out a VPN service to hide your location, as well as a Signal, Tor, and 2FA on your emails. We’ll be publishing more on security in communication in later guides. Stay strong, stay safe, stay secure.
This was not meant to be an extremely comprehensive guide to escaping the modern world. Instead, I hope I’ve given you a tiny glimpse into the ways in which I am dealing with the day and the near future. I hope I and we can continue to engage and grow, and become encouraged to rise to the challenges we’ve just been (re)set.
Remember too that we are all part of a global community, and that with the technology afforded us today, we can communicate openly. Our job now is to continue to fight for the greatness of our modern world, to move forward, and grow from here – digitally and metaphorically.