The Three Cyberspaces


Curving structures of translucent ivory and sparkling crystal ascend, studded with other balconies and pavilions and platforms like an enormous neo-Victorian treehouse -- all turning upon themselves, glittering in vanished sunlight, until lost in the violet distance. Below: the same, descending to the distant surface like a thin and graceful stalk of wheat rooted in fine, dark soil. Damien grasps the shape of the landscape beneath him, and whistles in appreciation of Penylle's joke. They are give dozen kilometers above the timeless Serengeti, perched upon a single strand of DNA that is, undoubtedly, rooted in the grasslands of Olduvai.

Cyberbia, one of the three major divisions of human cyberspace, is an endlessly malleable virtual landscape. Fantastic and implausible vistas are everywhere, and space itself bends and twists at the will of virtreal artists.


The Virtual city is bright, clean, unblemished -- in direct contrast to the drab, fading reality of worn concrete and cracked macadam, weed-tangled parking lots, the gaping holes of empty windows. In Virtua, however, every house is a big top and every passerby a performer. Dragons and insectlike aliens brush elbows with medieval warriors, Japanese princesses, and werewolves. From the sidelines, animated commercials call for attention. Every passing car is a luxury limousine, a futuristic hover-car, or a twenty-meter yacht.

Virtua, second of the three major divisions of human cyberspace, consists of artistic enhancements to the real world. These enhancements, visible through data goggles such as RCSpex, range from simple directional signs to fantastic and extravagant virtual personae.

El Juego

El Juego, The Game, has been around in one form or another almost as long as the Net itself. Phosphoric green letters on a black screen became static 256-color images, became photorealistic full-screen streaming video, became total-immersion artificial reality -- yet The Game remained quintessentially itself, the product of imagination, not technology. Indeed, it is rumored that, somewhere in the labyrinthine contortions of El Juego's tunnels and corridors and twisting cobblestone streets, one can still find a place to sit down at a simulated antediluvian ADM-25 terminal and play "Adventure" the way Gosper and Greenblatt and the others did so many decades ago.

El Juego, third of the three major divisions of human cyberspace, is a vast, interactive role-playing game with millions of participants worldwide. El Juego offers thousands of planes of play, each satisfying a different taste for violence, politics, religion, and sex.

copyright (c) 2008, Don Sakers
Find out more in Dance for the Ivory Madonna

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