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vCity 1.0
by Dr. Adam L. Gruen

20 days in the life of a 21st century virtual city simulation.

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vCity 1.0


A note for the reader:

You can't tell the players without a scorecard.

In modern times it is often true that our terminology, the handmaiden of technology, races ahead of our ability to keep track of it.

As a result, there are times when you will likely stumble across a word in this book whose meaning you will understand when you first come across it, but which later you will have forgotten. Sort of like stubbing your toe in the dark against the bedpost.

Anyway, here's a technobabble glossary to help you out.

avatar -- a virtual reality representation, in real time, of another person on the internet.

banned -- an internetworking address removed from the registry of vCity city coordinates. The content on the server remains wherever it is, but the link from the vCity simulation is removed. To go to that site, a viewer (user) would need to exit the vCity and use a normal Internet VRML-based brower.

beam -- to go to a city coordinate directly, without using any of the transportation systems postulated in the vCity.

bookmarking -- a PC-based mode of beaming (see above).

casbar -- slang for an internetworking traffic problem. A chaotic situation caused by too many people trying to access one spot within the vCity simulation and aggravated by the tendency to try to access the spot by different routes.

CC: City Coordinate. The exact center of the vCity is (0,0,0). Each CC represents a 1 meter cubed volume, and may correspond to no more than one internet address. Moving into a specific CC means attempting access to an internet address.

diablito -- literally, "little devil". Slang for a software program -- sometimes also referred to as "knowbot" -- that uses artificial intelligence to screen and prioritize data or higher-order content.

download -- to transfer a file or stream of bits and/or bytes from one server to another. The same word is sometimes used as a noun in reference to the entirety of the bitstream or file itself.

ecosimm -- a software program running within the larger vCity simulation, designed to simulate an ecological niche or zone.

GD: Goodwill Division. A bulletin board community of vCitizens interested in aesthetic development of the vCity simulation.

HMD: Head-Mounted Display. A term used to describe any electronic hardware such as helmets, visors, goggles, etc. attached to the human head.

Lightspeed -- a virtual reality sport combining aspects of in-line rollerblading and Ultimate disc.

mapp -- slang for marketing application. A software program tailored to the immediate needs of the user.

Meg -- One million bytes of data (Eight million binary digits).

Megaburp -- A transmission rate: one million bytes per second (Eight million bits per second).

Mole rats -- slang for vCitizens of the Mole sector of Belowtown, ages 8-16. Vigilantes famous for their ability to track down telecriminals and render telejustice.

MSE: Multiple Sensory Environment. A general term used to describe any electronic hardware augmenting any of the senses (touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell) or acting upon the human body with varying degrees of pressure, heat, or voltage.

New Millennite: slang for someone who was born on or after 1983; more generally, anyone with a cultural affinity for the newest or latest fad, gizmo, or pseudo-science.

nolo -- No Local Operator. Slang for remote-controlled human presence via telecommunications devices.

nowlink -- files located at an internet address on a server; 2D or 3D content available for downloading or on-line perusal, often containing hypertext links to other internet addresses or vCity city coordinates. A modern version of the newspaper.

onion -- slang for a dense part of the vCity. A zoning volume whose many city coordinates have been filled.

PC-based mode: viewing the virtual reality environment on a television or computer screen or other flat display. As opposed to viewing via HMD.

rathole -- slang for a virtual reality mass transit underground station.

scapp -- Self Contained Application. Software programs or routines that run interdependently with and within a larger program, creating a VR illusion of independent movement in real-time. Different from an avatar, which represents a real person somewhere on the Internet.

sidelink -- an oblique way to try to access a city coordinate by first contacting an intermediate coordinate. It doesn't help, but people try them anyway.

simm -- slang for simulation, both the noun and the verb. As the former, it refers to a software program. As a verb, it means to interactively participate on-line in a virtual reality setting.

simmcorp -- a simulated corporation, either a "front" for a real world corporation, or more simply an idea for any business enterprise expressed in terms of the vCity zoning regulations.

sink -- a negative tower. The residential or commercial space occupied below the virtual horizon.

skinny pipe -- slang for an internetworking connection that can transmit and receive data at a relatively slow rate.

sponge -- slang for a large zoning volume that does not contain many active CCs; that is to say, links to specific internet addresses.

steamrolled -- slang for a sudden, disconcerting transition from three dimensional virtual reality to two dimensional virtual reality. The ill-effect is most noticeable when the viewer is wearing HMD and/or MSE equipment.

techsimm -- a software program running within the larger vCity simulation, designed to simulate a technology or technological system such as transportation, power, water, sewage, etcetera.

vBrahman -- slang for one of the original participants in the vCity; specifically, anyone whose residence in the vCity was registered in 1997 or 1998.

vKiosk -- an architectural concept; a small zoning volume designated specifically for selling or otherwise making available nowlinks, downloads, mapps, and any other electronic goods or services.

zigguraut -- slang for an immense building technology that works as a vertical community unto itself, zoned for both residential and commercial activity.

ZV: Zoning Volume. A ZV is a set, of two or more city coordinates, of which at least one member corresponds to at least one internet address. Some ZVs can "contain" hundreds of thousands of CCs even if most of them are inactive.

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