Q&A – The World

What is law enforcement like? Is there any?
Yes, there are police and local governments that have laws and what not. Many gangs do have some officials in their pockets but still have to worry about getting arrested. Many unspoken policies from officials are that gang business is gang business and unless it spills over into the civilian life it gets ignored. Not because they don’t care, but because the risk of another gang war or the loss of life with some of the gangs are too high. (And not all the gangs are violent or have large illegal dealings, see Camelot). That being said, not every police can be bought or will look the other way so gang members doing illegal stuff still have to keep their eyes open for threats when acting in the open.

Are cybernetics obvious?
Yes and no. The higher end cybernetics can look a lot more realistic than cheaper ones. Some people also like to have their cyberware showing (see the Cybermen). A ‘soft’ location like the eyes can be hard to hide, while they have some element of realism they are still clearly not natural. But a lifelike skin-graft can be purchased to cover most limb replacements and surface stuff.

Ok, so what is an Avatar exactly?
Think of an Avatar as your 3D representation in the Net. Like a character in a video game you control. Except when you’re jacked in it’s fully immersive. Because the jack hooks right into your brain you basically experience everything the Avatar experiences. Your Avatar can look like your real self, or they can be an animal, or anthropomorphic or a completely different person. Whatever you want. You can also dress your Avatar however you want and change it’s clothing.

So when are Avatars used?
Typically Avatars are used in Nexus Chat rooms. But there are other instances as well, such as online games allow you to use your custom Avatar.

Can someone without a datajack use the Net?
Yes and no. Without a datajack a person is very limited in what they can do. They can access a basic computer version of the Net, which still exists and many people use for quick daily stuff, only using their jack when they’re going into a Nexus room or hackers because jacking in processing things quicker than typing. People will also jack in to watch movies and other visual things like that because it’s a much more immersive experience. (Yes there are still normal movie theatres where you don’t jack in, but there are also virtual ones) Someone without a datajack can’t do things like, enter a Nexus chat room or anything else that would require ‘entering’ the Net. They also can’t use AR as the AR glasses, require to be plugged into a data jack to allow for interaction and data retrieval.

What is AR? How is it used? Who typically uses it?
AR is Augmented Reality. It’s a relatively new invention, only a few years old. It allows a wearer of special AR glasses (which can be customized to look like almost any glasses) and view things in the world that aren’t really. It also gives the wearer a heads up display or HUD where they can access text messages, emails, and a variety of other daily applications (some require other amenities such as an ICD to see data on incoming calls). Typically the AR in the world seen are advertisements by businesses that basically ad on to their businesses locations (ie. you’re outside a Sushi restaurant and their sign is 3d and interactive. If you option to trigger the sign then you might find out their specials or get a coupon). Because your AR glasses plug into your datajack triggering things (as well as replying to texts, emails and all other programs) require just a thought.

So who uses AR? Typically AR is used by the younger generation, hackers, Netfreaks and the like. However some business people have found benefits in using AR on a limited basis for work related things. The reasons that AR hasn’t yet fully caught on with everyone is because on it’s base it’s a glorified advertising PDA. Those good with programming however have been able to turn it into something more, such as writing programs that couple facial recognition with the HUD that allows someone to locate a person by their face and then find out information about them through the Net. Some have also written programs to give them information about their surroundings like temperature, wind direction, GPS, blueprints for buildings (if listed publicly), etc. These programs must be either written or bought on the black market by someone who has written them at this time.