Stars Edge Redux
Virtual reality (VR) worlds are entertainments that involve the creation of a large and highly immersive simulated environment—a simulspace—where many major characters are played by transhumans or other sentient beings. Unlike vids or vidgames, simulspaces are speci cally designed for a large number of participants. VR worlds consist of everything from duplicates of various eras of Earth history to elaborate and strange fantasy worlds with magic, dragons, and similar wonders. All manner of alien worlds or settings based on oddities like time travel are also common. As is the case with vids, the most popular simulspaces are those set on Earth some time before the Fall.
VR worlds can have from dozens to tens of thousands of participants. For the best experience, many users prefer to access simulspaces through hardwired server connections as they offer better quality and less disruptions than accessing wirelessly via the mesh. Since people immersed in virtual reality are cut off from their bodies and often thrash around, most users ensconce their morphs in a tank or special couch for the duration. VR parlors typically offer private hardwired pods for participants to physically jack in. Many habitats also have hardwired systems used just for this purpose, so users can experience VR from the comfort of their own dwellings.
Due to distance and communication lags between habitats, even the most popular online simulspaces run each habitat as a separate realm, limiting interaction with users in other habitats/realms. The popularity of VR worlds like Gilded Empire, set in England in the 1880s, means that someone moving from one habitat or world to another could continue playing in the same game, albeit with a new set of players.
One of the other unusual features of VR settings is that a large number of infomorphs, including many infomorph refugees, play these games. As a result, while even most novice players can learn to easily tell the difference between a character played by an AI and one played by an actual person, there is no way to know if the person playing a character has a physical body or not.