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Third Life

Part One - Chiba City Blues
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Outside, thumping relentlessly on my windowpane, the ruptured Chiba sky pours its thick, sticky summer rain. I take a long drag on a knock-off Marlboro, synth-tobacco clinging to my throat with a taste like ozone.

The sky is a cold slab of television-grey, lit by the humming neon of the Shinjuku district as it slices through the smog from over a mile away. 65 stories up and I can feel it - the Biz - far below on the streets, in the alleyways. The eternal hustle; a grey lawless economy, both sustained and frowned upon by the Zaibatsus who feed off its live-or-die vitality. In the bustle, amongst these thousands of hustlers, pimps, dealers, fixers, runners and marks, a hired door punk like me can feel God-damn alone. I need to get out, just for a few hours.

A few key punches on my Mac-Deck later and I'm jacked in. Virtual info floods through me like I've stepped into a neon waterfall. It's fresh, clean; the virtual world has no grime or dust. Just perfect lines. And Freedom. This is my Second Life.

I take a soar to the nearest night-island, maybe I can jack in again - if you know what I mean. A few byte- cocktails and a few laughs, and I never go home without an IM. My virtual appearance is a gruffer, beefier and more handsome version of myself. A lot more. Hell, it doesn't even look like me, but it's the man behind the Av that these chicks want to meet.

I arrive to find the place swamped with avatars. Great. Just typical, yet another corporate psuedo-political movement, shouting and screaming at some lowly In- World Corp. Damn, I hate the two-bit politics of this place. Rich kids and Corp Suits all with the money to run or ruin this metaverse. I don't even have the L$s in my V- Wallet for a weapon; then I'd really join in this shit.

This isn't how it used to be. Now I got rent to pay and riots to avoid and every island is an advert. I haven't got laid in months. And no friends left since Linden Labs hiked up the prices. Something has infected this World. And now there's only one place in it where I still feel free.

A few jumps later and I'm landing on a promontory off the coast of the Tessier Ashpool commercial sprawl. I walk down an alley to a flight of stairs that lead to an underground cellar. I crank the door open and step inside to find a smoke-filled room with a couple of Avys hunched over some virtual halo-decks. This is where I come to get away from it all, just for a few hours.

I ask the scrawny Flatline by the door for a Linden. He obliges. I light up and the smoke fills me. Virtual smokes - beautiful. I set myself down at a terminal and after a few punched keys I jack my Avatar into Third Life. The graphics are a little chunkier, the animations a little blockier, but my Av gets a kick out of it. Hell, so do I.

theleopard, Jun 14 2007

Thanks to [zen_tom] http://www.halfbakery.com/user/zen_5ftom
Cyberpunk Consultant. [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]

Collaborative Web Fiction collaborative_20web_20fiction
Conceptually similar, i.e. a virtual world within a virtual world. [DrBob, Jun 14 2007]

Inspired ages ago by an anno in [Wags]' idea... Get-rich-quick_20Diet
Down the bottom, Dub, Feb 28 2007 [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]

Second life http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_life
For those unfamiliar with the concept... [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]

William Gibson http://en.wikipedia...bson_%28novelist%29
... or the theme. [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]

Simulacron-3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulacron-3
... or the basic world-in-a-world idea (it points to Plato's cave, so I don't have to)... [jutta, Jun 14 2007]

Kitkat Advertisement http://www.youtube....watch?v=OrAHBk4ZAeQ
... and certainly this Kitkat ad, which makes the same joke without the Neuromancer references. [jutta, Jun 14 2007]

Arabian Nights http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Arabian_Nights
Tales within tales within tales.. [DrBob, Jun 14 2007]

[link]






       How so?
theleopard, Jun 14 2007
  

       There might also be a "Zeroth Life", of which we are only the artificial, imitative shadows.
hippo, Jun 14 2007
  

       I like this but an idea I like better is that you could have portals to other online MMORPGs within each virtual world. Things could get massively complex as some players would be playing as themselves (i.e. logging into the game directly as is currently standard practice) whilst others were playing as their avatar's avatar's avatar etc.

In order to make this work though you would need, as a minimum, to have an agreed exchange rate between game currencies and each game would need to be able to act as an e-mail host as well. You could get bogged down in this stuff for years!
DrBob, Jun 14 2007
  

       //"Zeroth Life"// I was trying to come up with a Minus Oneth Law of Thermodynamics the other day, nothing was forthcoming.   

       Interestingly, there's another, (though this time, non-Sprawl) Gibson story (Idoru, second part of the "Bridge" trilogy) where this idea is reversed.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2007
  

       How reversed? Like a Flatline programme coming out into the real World or something?   

       And also [tom], how does it feel to be a Cyberpunk Consultant?
theleopard, Jun 14 2007
  

       It might be best to enumerate the existences by dimension (call it 'D' for a notation). Thus, it becomes a matter of life and D'th.
Ian Tindale, Jun 14 2007
  

       //How reversed?// Totally - but I'm not going to tell you any more, or it'll spoil it.
zen_tom, Jun 14 2007
  

       I can't believe that [jutta]. I feel so gypped.
theleopard, Jun 14 2007
  

       //Tales within tales within tales//
You've just described my CV.
methinksnot, Jun 14 2007
  

       we heard you liked video games, so we bought your video game and built a computer in it that plays video games, so that you can play video games while you're playing video games.
fischerman, Mar 03 2011
  

       slightly baked. somebody built a computer in a game called minecraft that's just powerful enough to play minecraft.
fischerman, Mar 03 2011
  
      
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