I didn’t want a lot for my birthday this year. Maybe just a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card and a nice note from my parents. But instead, my folks sent me a VR headset, which is awesome, and I’m super grateful, but I kind of wish they at least sent a card, or called, or wrote on my Facebook wall.
When I opened the package, there wasn’t any indication of who sent it. I texted my folks to confirm it was from them, and my dad just replied with a thumbs up emoji. While I was kind of bummed by the lack of warmth — there was still no explicit Happy Birthday — I figured I at least had this cool new device to get my mind off it. So I started to get acquainted with the headset, and it was pretty sick. I learned how to play mini golf and dance with a robot and flip burgers. When I went to the app store to see what other games I could escape into, I saw it: Agape, The Parental Love Simulator.
At first I was confused, but then I remembered from my Philosophy of Love course that the unconditional love from a parent can be called agape, pronounced ah-GAH-pay. When I saw it cost ten bucks to download, I said ‘I gah PAY for this app?!’ but only my cat could hear me, and Linus doesn’t have a sense of humor.
I’m still going through the tutorials, but I can already feel this sense of warmth come over me every time I open the app. The welcome screen shows two sets of giant arms wrapping themselves around you in 360, and an instrumental music box version of You Are My Sunshine plays. I cry every time. I haven’t explored all of the app yet, but I’ve already canceled my next few therapy sessions. I’ll keep everyone updated on my experience via my YouTube channel.