Life in the Sixth World
The Matrix of 2075
We use it every day to read our email, pay our bills, talk to our friends and loved ones. It monitors our money, handles our utilities, and manages the traffic on our streets. Billions of people use it constantly, from the hungry family in Redmond to the CEO in Neo-Tokyo and everyone in between. It is the Matrix, the digital world within a world made of fiber-optic cables, networks, and more data and computing power than has ever existed in the history of the planet. A record that exists today so it can be broken tomorrow.
Everybody uses the Matrix. Most shadowrunners have multiple pieces of gear that use it, often interacting with the Matrix without them knowing it. Smartlinks use it to look up local conditions and calculate firing solutions, medkits access medical databases to analyze and diagnose injuries and then recommend treatment, and your clothes and armor use it to detect wear and tear and tell you when it’s time to do the laundry.
Some shadowrunners do more than just soak in information the gear gathers for them. They use the Matrix as a tool and a weapon. They glide through it, bending it to their will, making it dance and spin to the tune they call. Such a runner is called a hacker. There are two kinds of hackers, classified based on how they interact with the Matrix: deckers, who use cyberdecks to access the bones and muscle of the Matrix and twist that structure
to their will; and technomancers, who have a downright weird ability to interface and control the digital world without the aid of technology.
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