Because of stack technology, humans can easily jack in to virtual space by way of specially designed chairs. These chairs can range from rudimentary to incredibly sophisticated. The more sophisticated the virtual space, the more realistic the construct. A low-rent virtual space at the equivalent of an internet cafe in a bad neighbourhood is generally low-resolution and can create headaches after awhile. The more expensive the rental time, the less adverse effects and the better the resolution. Even the most rudimentary of virtual spaces provides a full-sensory experience that is actually a bit sharper than the real world. If a construct is sufficiently high-resolution enough, it is possible to fool someone into thinking they're in the real world - when they are in fact, jacked in.

Virtual space is used for long-distance communication, interviews and interrogations and even sexual encounters. Torture in virtual is also a technique employed by unscrupulous types as people can be made to suffer again and again without the threat of real death. However, abuse of DHF and unlawful digital confinement are extremely serious crimes - above organic damage. The most egregious cases can be punished with deletion.

Most people who plug into virtual do so with the default image of their current sleeve (usually slightly taller and minus a few pounds as it is based on self-image.) However, an individual is completely able to control their appearance in virtual, to reflect a past sleeve, someone else's sleeve, or a new one entirely. For that reason it is sometimes used to help someone adjust to a new sleeve or to help avoid or mitigate the symptoms of frag.

Virtual is also used for psychosurgery, which is a discipline to repair damage to the psyche inflicted by a violent sleeve death, trauma, or personality frag. The construct is used to rebuild the mind and to block out or downplay traumatic experiences.

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Virtual space can run in a time-compressed manner. The ratio varies from 1:1 time up to 1:4 time. There are rumors of even greater compression, but that technology is not currently in wide use.

NOTE: The time compression is a compromise between the show (where it doesn't exist) and the books (where time compression can be as extreme as fitting months in the space of a few hours.) This compromise seemed ideal for RP purposes. The technology to make a digital construct copy of yourself as in the books does not exist in our world.

Total Body Theatre

TBT is an experience where an individual does an activity and records their body's full sensory experience. TBT stars are the YouTubers of our theme. They are independent operators who may or may not be part of a larger management group who put out their own content. People can then spin up the experience in VR and ride shotgun in a person's body.

Popular TBT experiences include extreme sports, fightdrome competitions and naturally, sexual encounters. Depending on the experience, it's paid for by ad revenue or per use - and sometimes both.

Although you're not supposed to be able to download TBT experiences, there exists a full library of bootleg experiences on Podnet.

Podnet

Podnet is our in-theme version of the Dark Web. It's the place where illegal deals happen, where banned and blocked videos and data circulate, and where the worst of humanity dwells. If you're looking for illegal neurachem, if you want to hire someone to slag someone else's stack, if you want to score some illegal drugs, this is the place to look.

It's completely unregulated, and one of the few places where the meths have little influence. It's also full of darkness, depravity and dirty dealings. Only hackers and underworld types would have direct access to its contents, but information does leak out into more legit channels from time to time.

There is a space within Podnet called The Anno. It's a series of chatrooms akin to something like Reddit or an old Usenet system. Hackers gather in the Anno to buy, sell, trade and share information. Although you can have a static ID (like a hacker handle) many people tend to move anonymously. When people spin up into the Anno's virtual space, their sleeve avatar is randomized (unless they choose otherwise) and they are given a temporary username unless they choose a moniker.

TECHNOLOGY

People enter Virtual by either having their stack inserted into a drive and interfaced, or by plugging the stack directly into the system. In either case, this is done by a system colloquially termed a 'chair.' This chair is the technological interface that determines the resolution of the physical environment. The 'chair' refers not only to the interface itself, but the processing power that creates the visual and sensory input. Think of it like the graphics card and processor of a computer, and how that directly affects the gaming experience. Two people can be jacked into the same VR space and have wildly different resolutions depending on their chair setup. The processing power of the chair also determines how much virtual environment can be created. Generally speaking, only one 'location' can be generated in full resolution at a time (ie, a house.) As a person moves from one area to the other outside of their immediate area, they either hit a wall, or a new area is rendered. This is usually the dead giveaway between virtual and the real world.