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Hi there.

Since i read the announcement of SR4, i'm wondering (like a lot of people I guess) how the new matrix will be. I'm not here to ask this question, as the concerned person won't speak about it - which is understandable.

I'd rather share my thoughts on the subject with you ; and if the matrix subject is still under developement and this gives ideas to the concerned persons, that's good.

Here i go then.


My first reaction about SR4 (after HELL YEAH !) has been "what ? no more deckers because no more decks ? what does that mean ?" So I made hypothesis on the subject.

first hypothesis : deckers are not deckers anymore because they are not carrying a "deck" anymore - they rather have a cranian cyberdeck or something similar, and a wireless connection. Wow, that would really sucks, as it's been quite some time it's possible to do something like this. There were only the problem of wireless bandwidth that could not carry simsense signal, but anyway it was possible to avoid the problem by connecting through a drone network, which *can* carry simsense flux. But anyway, that's not the question.

second hypothesis : rather than having a deck (implanted or not), deckers have a wireless connection to the matrix and a small computer that allow them to control a bigger one remotely through the matrix. In way, it's like beeing connected to your deck through the matrix rather directly. Again, it's almost possible in SR3, excluding the wireless bandwidth problem. Moreover, the "not decker" needs a connection to the matrix in order to reach his computer - impossible to crack isolated networds from within. That doesn't make any sense.


(from the point of view of someone in the late '60s)

The matrix has evolved - in fact, the whole computer science field has changed greatly. scientists had a basic understanding of how the brain works, which led them to create mind interacting "things" : datajack, DNI, simsense, personafix, psychotropic ice, transducer ...

But in the last decade, a greap leap forward has been made. It has been discovered that some people are able to wire their brain so it turns to some kind of biological computer. Those persons are known as Otakus. After massive ugly experiments on Otakus (go get your brain reverse engineered, chum'), fundamental secrets about how the brain works has been revealed.

Otakus were able to adapt their brain to the matrix protocols, so their thoughts are echoed by code, and vice versa. This process has been inverted : now, the whole matrix is adapted to human thoughts. Data are stored as our memory does, processed as our brain does, transmitted in a way you can instantly understand it. Think about your thoughts *actually* running wires. Reminds you the good old time, just after the first crash ? When deckers were dreaming about leaving their meat for good and live in this new world ? Reload your dreams, you might be just in time for the revival.

How does the matrix looks, now ? Don't look for the old neon-glowing structures of the "virtual reality". Cyberspace is not anymore about mimicking our world, or even creating something based on our five senses. But before I go to this point, let me tell you about how people usually perceive it.

On the everyday use, it is a light trail of thoughts popping in your mind as you pass by. You feel like this TV in the shop is asking you to buy it. Maybe this will turn you crazy. But, fortunately, you can always switch off, or at least filter the input. But the matrix is of course not only a convenient way of turning people insane with ads. Get to the real systems and you will experience "induced dreaming"

So, the system sends you thoughts. The deeper you dive, the more present the system's thoughts are in your mind. From the outside, you look like someone deeply absorbed in his thinking. The system's reality enters your mind, populating your imagination with the basics of its reality - its metaphorical reality, as you people used to call it. By the way, be careful : diving too deep too fast feels like a mind rape, and you may not recover from it. So then, the basics of the environment are loaded into your brain: how things work, what you can do, what you can't. Then the system's reality starts to take form in your mind - and there you are : in a dream. A machine's dream, in which you have your own will to act.

When you wake up - I mean jack out - you feel just like when you actually *wake up* - a bit dizzy, as fragments of the dream fades away in your short term memory. It's usually pretty hard to remember precisely how the place you went looked like. Fuzzy memories of something totally unreal, sometimes sounding nuts or stupid when you are awake. But when you are there, everything is logical, from it's own logic. And real, from it's own reality.

Oh, and by the way : as computers are "brain compatibles", brains are "brain compatible" too. So, yes, you can dive into someone's brain. But that's another story.

[maybe i will write more later, about the role of a decker in such a matrix]


that's it. How I see the matrix. To me, it would do quite a change, and could open a lot of new possibilities. As you may have guessed, there is a strong Ghost in the shell influence in this. Unlike old cyberpunk litterature, it is not technically outdated.

Last point about all this :
Such a matrix could be a good counterweight to the magic.
On one side, NATURE. Gaļa and its magic field, created by all living beeings.
On the other side, TECHNO. the Matrix and its information sphere.
In the middle, metahumanity, one foot in each world, struggling to access new levels of understanding while keeping its roots.

okay enough for today smile.gif
Your coments are welcome, as this view of the matrix is not "shadowrun oriented", in fact it is originally intended to another project.
Okay so what I wrote doesn't seem to interest anyone ... A little word could have been nice, something like "wow man, this sucks ! and welcome to dumpshock" But two posts and no answers ... I feel like beeing ignored. By the way I didn't wrote the first post of this topic to beg developers in a subtle way so they create the matrix of my dreams ... this was just a view on the subject i wished to share, but if no one wants to share ... too bad. indifferent.gif
So your saying that every decker, excuse me "hacker" are going to function like Otaku?
Kanada Ten
I don't think that's the important part of his post, but, yes, everyone would be brain wired for the Matrix... If I understand.

My problem is that even converting cyberspace into a dream and thoughts doesn't go far to integrating it with the real world, which is what I think will happen. Otherwise, I think using thoughts and memory as a non interfering simsense feed, to allow users to access the Matrix while still interacting with reality, is a good idea. But I said that already.

My thoughts now are that the Matrix may function more like a CCSS system, where users treat their bodies as a drone hooked up to the system and can include other Matrix simsense feeds in a single host (their brain).

Oh, and, er, um, welcome to Dumpshock.
Thanks for reply smile.gif

as Kanada Ten said, the otaku thing is not the point - only a bad simplification. As information itself would be of a different form.
Let's say the sim-thing is not limited to senses (by the way Full-X simsense seemed to be a first step toward this). Your sim feed can operate on a certain bandwidth which recover different parts and functions of your brain. This goes from perception, like usual simsense, to the very core of yourself (which should not be touched). Inbetween the signal can access to your thoughts, like what KT wrote about his "virtual knowledge" (awesome idea by the way), or even to your memory. Those access can be either for "reading or writing", but of course one can restrict access to some part of their brain.

About integrating the matrix to the real world, you mean like merging those two realities so it's hard to make the distinction ? That's pretty weird ...
Kanada Ten
About integrating the matrix to the real world, you mean like merging those two realities so it's hard to make the distinction ? That's pretty weird ...

He wakes up to a soft voice in his head. Get up, sleepybones. Time to get going. It's his alarm, he knows that, but it won't stop pestering him until he's out of bed. The mild aroma of coffee seems to float from somewhere, prodding him slightly. Rolling unto the floor, he yawns and scratches his back. Looking at the telecom he hears, You've got a few messages, but nothing urgent, and stifling another yawn he stands up. The coffee smells stronger and seems to invigorate him.

Glancing at the food dispenser, he thinks, "yeah, coffee." A little disposable cup drops into the machine and is filled with water, tendrils of steam gently rising from the brim. He grimaced. Water was too precious to waste on cleaning dishes or for coffee. Lifting the cup to his mouth, the smell of hot water was overpowered by the aroma of coffee, and fresh ground at that. The plain water tasted almost like coffee, if he closed his eyes. The AR could make the water look like coffee, too, but he wasn't ready for that just yet. "I can use the incentive," he reminded himself, "Life in a beetle is no life at all."

He thought about the messages waiting. Brodey, Jenni, Ames, and Choking momentarily on the coffee, no the water, he spat out, "I thought none were important," while glaring at the telecom. None were flagged priority, came the voice's breathy response. It sounded afraid, afraid of him. Turning away with a sigh he pulled the wardrobe out of the wall and starting choosing his clothes. "It's alright, play me the messages," he thought.

Brodey's voice and face came to him while he changed, filtered though his imagination. It was like daydreaming, in a way; he could picture Brodey swinging his arms and making faces as he described the toy he banged last night. Finishing dressing he accessed the picture attached to the message and saw the girl Brodey was talking about. Shaking his head, he paused the rest of the messages. They could wait until he was on the bus.

Standing in the middle of the room he thought, "How do I look?" To his eyes, it looked like he was having an out of body experience; as if someone was pulling his vision up and around so that he was looking at himself from every angle, top to bottom. There was a shuffling sensation in the back of his mind, a riffling of memories, before the response came back. Fine, but your mother would say handsome. The voice was soothing this time. "What'd I do with my coffee," he thought, looking around. It's next to the wardrobe. He drained the cup and left.
That would be creepy as hell.

Something I've never seen SR address...Can kids have cyberware?

I always figured no, as it'd interfere with growing and stuff, but...I'm wondering.
Kanada Ten
Otaku get datajacks pretty early, but one could assume SotA costs include some of that. One thing I've done in my own vision is include growth control drugs for large ticket cyber like legs and arms, and not just for kids - adults need to maintain a similar weight and metabolism for proper cyber function.

It's another reason why bioware needs to merge with cyberware.
QUOTE (Penta)
Something I've never seen SR address...Can kids have cyberware?

The bones of the skull reach maturity at a younger age than many people expect. I forget the exact age, but the human head reaches it's full adult size before the onset of puberty. So Headware would be possible for teens and even pre-teens. Given the near universal accpetance of a datajack, I imagine that datajacks would be almost as common among the younger set as orthodontics and ear piercings are today.

For implants that go other places, it would depend on the implant. For instance, I could see retractable Finger Razors being able to be implanted at a younger age than a set of retractable spurs, for instance (not that I would expect either to be implanted in a minor anywhere outsize of a Z-Zone, and even then, I'd think most would have reservations about visiting a street doc who would give that kind of implant to someone so young).

One thing to consider, is the fact that the books have always hinted that there's a vast spectrum of non-paramilitary cyberware that's never been cataloged in any sourcebook. Things like "Level 0" wired reflexes, that instead of increasing reaction times, merely replace portions of the central and peripheral nervous systems that have been damaged by accident, congenital diseases, or what have you. Presumably, there would be techniques for implanting these types of nonthreatening ware into minors.
Um, wait.

Datajacks need to be implanted into the brain. There's still lots of development even after puberty there.

Similarly, your eyes grow along with the rest of you. I know; My right eye has retinopathy of prematurity from 2.5 months. The eyelid has more or less grown to cover the eye completely. Meanwhile, the other eye is apparently normal.
QUOTE (Penta @ Mar 26 2005, 09:58 PM)
Datajacks need to be implanted into the brain. There's still lots of development even after puberty there.

And yet, the datajack is the one piece of cyberware that Shadowrun has concretely addressed the issue of whether or not it can be implanted into a minor. If you couldn't implant datajacks into pre-teens, you couldn't have Otaku as we've come to know them.

As for brain development during puberty, it depends on what you count as development. Most of the brain's neural structure is formed in early childhood. Unlike most of the body's cells, neurons don't divide to form new neurons. The only way you get new neurons is for progenitor cells to divide and then differentiate themselves into neurons. Changes in how the brain works in the later stages of childhood aren't the result of any new neural paths being formed by new neurons being added, it's due to changes in how frequently the existing pathways get used or lie dormant. One would presume that the points where the datajack's nano-scale wiring ties into the brain's neural pathways would get enough regular stimulation to remain active throughout the rest of the development cycle.

Now for many years, neurobiologists thought that there was absolutely no new neuron production past childhood, but recently it was discovered that certain areas of the brain, such as the hippocampus, do maintain reserves of progenitor cells to allow for new neuron production, but this is limited to certain specific areas of the brain. Supposedly datajacks don't directly interface those areas.
I invision the deckers of 4th ed to use devices in a way that is similar to the computer systems used in to movie Minority Report.
You mean those glove things? I think something like that'd be on the public end of the spectrum. Deckers'd probably do it all DNI.
Sure, but I'm thinking about the display style, ya know? The "overlay to reality" stuff.
From what we've heard, I gather it'll be very much like that. A sort of techo-astral plane.
i loved that post of your kanada, realy inspirational on how it could work when you get a computer plugged into your brain cool.gif
QUOTE (Ecclesiastes)
I invision the deckers of 4th ed to use devices in a way that is similar to the computer systems used in to movie Minority Report.

Minority report is a very good possible soruce of inspiration, but I figure if that's the way they go, the gloves will be replaced by some sort of limited simrig-like implant that's been heavily streamlined for essence effiency like the datajack was (For all it could do, the datajack was one of the most undercosted implants from an essence standpoint, but it's perfectly justified given that it's also the most common implant).

Another possible source of inspiration would be the holographic interfaces from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, but instead holographic technology, it'd be Augmented Reality Overlay.
that spirit within interface is one of the most interesting ones i have seen in a long time nyahnyah.gif and augmented reality would fit it perfectly cool.gif
Kanada, I like that idea, but I imagine it being taken one step further - not just receiving a set of multi-sensory communications but actually having an implicit awareness of the systems you're jacked into - "I woke up with my telecom feeling full, but not bloated or demanding of urgent attention - I flexed my coffee maker a little tighter than normal- I felt like a good strong brew. I reached out to one of the passing autocabs, felt it tickle my cred data and then pulled it to a stop and opened its/my doors."

Certainly that's how I've always imagined security rigging - your idea seems to be to make it free-floating free-association rigging between any and every wired up system - which I like conceptually, but I think it's just a little too wierd for your basic cyberpunk rpg.
QUOTE (lacemaker)
I woke up with my telecom feeling full, but not bloated or demanding of urgent attention

Just what I always wanted to do, wake up and crap out my voicemail. cyber.gif
Ol' Scratch
I dunno. I think people are assuming it's going to be a tad bit more than it actually is. My initial reaction was that it was more like everyone's going to have 24/7 access to the Matrix, and most of the technology we use will be linked to it in some fashion. I don't see it as everyone being "one with the machine" in the slightest.

Things more like implanted SIN chips and that sorta thing.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (lacemaker)
Kanada, I like that idea, but I imagine it being taken one step further - not just receiving a set of multi-sensory communications but actually having an implicit awareness of the systems you're jacked into...

I was thinking that was more if you jumped into your host, but that might be personal preference. My description was from the captain's chair, which is how I think most users would interface.

I don't see it as everyone being "one with the machine" in the slightest.

<shrug> I think it fits the merging of deckers and riggers.
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