Trope-a-Day: The Game Come To Life

The Game Come To Life: Doesn’t happen literally, but perhaps a little played with inasmuch as there are augmentality games – designed to integrate seamlessly with the real world and make use of real-world elements during gameplay – which blur the boundary more than a little. (Enough so that a number of them have been manipulated by various sponsoring entities to achieve real-world goals. Amazing what people will do for progress towards an achievement…)

And then, of course, there was the Lord Blackfall incident.

Trope-a-Day: The Alternet

The Alternet: Lots of them, if you will, independently invented on lots and lots of worlds. (The Empire’s version is the Dataweave, operating on IIP and mesh network principles.) And then there’s the extranet, which is the Internet-of-Internets that links all of these internets together, although in practice everyone refers to all the networks that aren’t their specific local one as “the extranet”.

It supports most of the same functionality and more (say, pervasive augmented reality, mindcasting, and exomemory transfer, to name three examples), although with certain limitations that the Internet generally doesn’t have to worry about, like light-lag [and the associated possibilities of fun with ansibles] and planetary alignments…

Trope-a-Day: Unlimited Wardrobe

Unlimited Wardrobe: Played mostly straight – the flexibility is not unlimited, after all – by smart clothing, which can offer a variety of style modifications (via inbuilt MEMS), color changes, and other self-reshaping properties on the fly.  (And, of course, at home there are cornucopia machines.)  Played entirely straight by virtual clothing (which consists of an AR projection over a neutral gray jumpsuit or spraysuit, so long as onlookers are subscribing to the public v-tag channel and your coding budget is adequate.

Trope-a-Day: Notice This

Notice This: Played straight in reality, what with augmented-reality interfaces.  Your neural lace, VII, or wearable will be more than happy to highlight things you either need to notice, or that you’ve told it you want to notice, or whose v-tags indicate that everyone should notice, and project your route for you as a nice glowy line, and use chimybeepy audio cues for when they’re not conveniently in your field of vision.

For it is convenient, and plays well with Stat-O-Vision.

Trope-a-Day: Stat-O-Vision

Stat-O-Vision: Augmented reality – hooked up to scanning equipment, civilian v-tags, mugshot databases, and suchlike provides exactly this for everyone, all nearly formatted with architect’s lines extending into secondary visual fields and more sophisticated UI systems for common stats (see Aura Vision for one example), with all the necessary basic hardware built right into your head.

Not just for fighting strength, of course – you can get, depending on what information you have access to, everything from their personal profile to medical data to reputation scores to current geolocation to twitter-equivalent feed and blog to IM/texting window this way, and/or hyperlink (“sopholink”) directly to them.

Trope-a-Day: In Space Everyone Can See Your Face

In Space Everyone Can See Your Face: Averted, for all the practical reasons mentioned.  In practice, augmented reality v-tags – actually, the standard public identity tag – tell you who is who, and those who want to can use supplementary v-tags to indicate their current emotional state, etc., and perform other expressive tasks.

(The running lights on spacecraft also mentioned?  There for close orbital operations and for the benefit of the crew when they have to go clamber about on the hull to do maintenance, including such things as delineating the – very hot – radiative striping so you don’t accidentally step on it.  You can turn it off quite happily outside those circumstances, although a lot of captains don’t simply because with the energy budget of your average modern spacecraft1, there’s really no point in making the trivial saving of turning the lights off.  Besides, someone might have a telescope aimed at you, and programming this gorgeous paint job wasn’t cheap, y’know?)


1. i.e., running on fusion, with thus-generous power budget. This was not the historical case back in the fuel-cells-and-solar-panels days.