h a l f b a k e r y
You gonna finish that?
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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
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.
Thanks to [zen_tom]
Cyberpunk Consultant. [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]
Collaborative Web Fiction
Conceptually similar, i.e. a virtual world within a virtual world. [DrBob, Jun 14 2007]
Inspired ages ago by an anno in [Wags]' idea...
Down the bottom, Dub, Feb 28 2007 [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]
For those unfamiliar with the concept... [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]
... or the theme. [theleopard, Jun 14 2007]
... or the basic world-in-a-world idea (it points to Plato's cave, so I don't have to)... [jutta, Jun 14 2007]
... and certainly this Kitkat ad, which makes the same joke without the Neuromancer references. [jutta, Jun 14 2007]
Tales within tales within tales.. [DrBob, Jun 14 2007]
||There might also be a "Zeroth Life", of which we are only the artificial, imitative shadows.
||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!
||//"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.
||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?
||//How reversed?// Totally - but I'm not going to tell you any more, or it'll spoil it.
||I can't believe that [jutta]. I feel so gypped.
||//Tales within tales within tales//
You've just described my CV.
||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.
||slightly baked. somebody built a computer in a
game called minecraft that's just powerful enough to