shadowrun 5th - trial run
BTL - Morning Light
Simsense is a multimedia technology based on ASIST that allows the recording of a person’s experiences and sensory input in a certain situation. Simsense is commonly known for its commercial use in the entertainment industry, as a popular medium for full-immersion entertainment, while other simsense applications include:
Cyberterminals, where data is converted into easily-interpreted icons and interfaces. Skillsofts, which are databases of simsense experiences recorded under just about every condition. Smartguns, in which a simrig is used to feed body and weapon positioning to the ballistics processor, triangluating fire. A simsense user can play such a recording to see, hear, smell, taste, touch and feel everything the recording actor experienced (refined and modified in post-production, of course).
Simsense is a very profitable market and simsense actors/actresses are as revered as their movie and music colleagues.
BTL (*B*etter *T*han *L*ife), also commonly referred to as “beetles,” “mindbenders,” “playback,” “tracers,” and “zombie chips,” are an addictive form of simsense chips. BTLs are known for their lack of peak controls, the legally-recommended limits to ASIST signal levels and modulation, resulting in a more intense experience than commercially available simsense, and direct stimulation to the limbic area, or “pleasure center,” of the brain, wreaking havoc with brain biochemistry and leading to addictive behavior. This addictiveness combined with a limited longetivity on most BTL chips provides a lucrative market for organized crime. BTLs have become the modern drug of choice and junkies, called “chipheads,” are a common sight.
Chips are typically designed to burn out after one use, both to prevent the users brain from overloading from the sustained stimulation, and to force the user to purchase additional chips. BTL chips are psychologically addictive and repeated, frequent use causes permanent brain damage.
The most known form of BTL is the “dreamchip,” which is a standard simsense recording that has the been modded into a BTL. Most dreamchips are private simsense recordings, while some are studio-produced simsense with the peak controls simply removed. Pornographic one-shots, recorded crimes and heroic fantasies, known as “fairy tales of the street” are popular. There is also a growing submarket for snuff chips, in which the recording individual dies.
Another common form of BTL is the “moodchip,” which heavily focuses on the emotive track, sometimes to the point that other sensory input is edited out. Popular moods are euphoria, aggression, and sexual desire. Street names reflect the nature of the simsense experience, such as Blue Passion, Red Meanie, and Cool White. These simsense chips have the RAS override disabled so that users can move around under the influence of the chip.
A variant form of BTL is the “personafix chip,” which transforms the personality, thoughts, and memories of the user to a particular personality, usually famous. A person slotting a personafix chip of Maria Mercurial, for example, believes that he or she is Maria Mercurial, and reacts with the emotions and personality of the starlet. These chips are popularly used in bunraku or meatpuppet parlors, where the prostitute can become any personality the buyer desires. Modified personafix chips are also used in covert infiltration, to enhance the acting and disguise of a mole.
The MorningLight chips acts as a dreamchip mixed with a reserved moodchip. The user’s physical sensation are heightened with a series of stimuli, but the emotional track is modified to leave them emotional drained, empty and void. Over repeated use this despondent mood becomes part of the user. Some of the code used to create this emotional track can be likened to that used by some chapters of the Universal Brotherhood in the early 2050’s.
Adverse effects have been noted due to this disconnect between physical and emotional feedback. Mania is the most common. Aimless wandering (as in a sleep walking state) as also been reported, often along with a fascination with water.
New batches of the chips have an embedded hypnotic command, with coordinates corresponding to the Lava fields . Possibly in an attempt to use the roaming adverse effect in a channeled fashion.