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A sci-fi problem for you to solve :)

Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
I've wanted to design my own Cyberpunk 2020 like game, but one thing that always seemed weird to me is the following, and if you have an idea to adequately "solve" this problem, feel free to chime in. :)

Imagine a world with networking technology and computing tech different from our own. Nevermind exactly how it works, but imagine having publicly accessible computer terminals all around a big city, and that you are abusing it, you risk being electrocuted.

The thing here is to justify the gimmick of being electrocuted in this dystopian world, but the trick is to have it make good sense.

1) If you risk being electrocuted because you "jacked" into the computer with a cable, connecting your hacking equipment to the public terminal, why would anyone want to risk dying from, why not develop a special cable that resists the electrocution part.

2) If you can connect to a computer network with the equivalent of wifi, surely no electrocution would be possible, or at least, you wouldn't allow being electrocuted by your own computer equipment. Presumably, wifi would not be allowed, for more advanced interaction (because authorities will want to electrocute hackers on site), thus requiring "jacking" into a terminal with a computer.

3) If people have computers built into their brains, that could perhaps complicate things, in that, any electrocution might not require that much power. Presumably,  a terminal might have the feature to lock onto someone cyber implant, and direct a beam into someones cranial hardware. So, people that hack will probably want to either carry an external computer so that they don't risk having their brain messed up, or, accept the risk perhaps.

So, then there is the way in which someone could plausibly be electrocuted:

a) Through a current, from the terminal sent over a computer cable and over to someones cranial hardware

b) Through a current, from the terminal sent over a computer cable and over to someones external computer, and anyone touching that computer has a risk of being electrocuted because of that.

c) Through some kind of electromagnetic induction (harmful to humans?) across space, which could be directed and would require some kind of semi intelligent targeting system.

d) Through some kind of electromagnetic induction (harmful to humans?) across space, which could be omni directional, either instantaneous or in a quick sweep around the terminal, possibly injuring anyone around the terminal within 5m or so. Presumably, it then woulnt' be "good" if a hacker would try hack a terminal with a longer wire to avoid being electrocuted.

Ah, in writing this, I think I have realized that for having the electrocution part of the terminal to work satisfactory on a sci-fi level, the following requirement must be met:

* A public computer terminal must somehow be able to prevent long range access, somehow forcing a user to stay close to the terminal, to be able to react against hacking attempts. (Or, possibly, as a means of public execution, if someone deemed a "criminal" were to try use the terminal)

:)

Q: Assuming that such a potentially dangerous public computer terminal would kill off anyone trying to tamper with the system, exactly how could anyone be forced to interact with it, AND more importantly, also assuming, that this interaction relied on a user being "jacked" into the system with a cable.

Comments

  • LithuanianLithuanian Member UncommonPosts: 397
    If this is futurisitic hi-tec society, then:
    everyone has some microchip implanted. Kind of "multipass" - your passport, your money, your work ID. Every terminal checks human (retina scan, pulse...you name it) and checks if John Balrog is really John Balrog.
    Terminals does not accept wi-fi.
    In order to access terminal user has to wear no finger protection so that terminal could perform a check whether it is still John Balrog typing under username "John Balrog".
    Then, there is certain code that determines "abuse" - searching for pr0n, posting anti-government messages, using certain words...
    Depending on how badly user behaved, terminal sends some micro-impulses through input device. If things are severe, user receives permadeath  ban.
    And yes, each terminal is protected. Unathorised access - data erasure, risk of self-destruction and all police units being informed about hacking.
  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
    edited August 2016
    I think the mandatory ID'ing sounds nice, for actually using the terminal by which one plugs oneself into it, complemented by some way of scanning, and I suppose in that process, the terminal "knows" not only who you are, but also where you are and what you look like.

    I guess, if a cranial chip is required, then, in addition to ID'ing the person, the spacial location of the chip itself could become some kind of homing beacon for the terminal to aim at. I like that idea! :)

    I suppose, any metal implants, or metal parts at all, could easily be turned into some hot piece of metal by electromagnetic induction, lobotomizing or critically injuring the person so to speak.

    As for the hacking if you were curious, what I had in mind was some kind of futuristic arms race, in which computers not only still have zero day vulnerabilities, but that lots of people are actively finding such vulnerabilities by automated processes. And once something breaks, then you get to tamper with a lot of things (the fun part if ever being a pc game).

    Having the police come out to the terminal sounds like a good idea as well.
  • Starbuck1771Starbuck1771 Member UncommonPosts: 375
    If this is futurisitic hi-tec society, then:
    everyone has some microchip implanted. Kind of "multipass" - your passport, your money, your work ID. Every terminal checks human (retina scan, pulse...you name it) and checks if John Balrog is really John Balrog.
    Terminals does not accept wi-fi.
    In order to access terminal user has to wear no finger protection so that terminal could perform a check whether it is still John Balrog typing under username "John Balrog".
    Then, there is certain code that determines "abuse" - searching for pr0n, posting anti-government messages, using certain words...
    Depending on how badly user behaved, terminal sends some micro-impulses through input device. If things are severe, user receives permadeath  ban.
    And yes, each terminal is protected. Unathorised access - data erasure, risk of self-destruction and all police units being informed about hacking.
    I agree like in the movie demolition man. they had a chip embedded in their skin.

    image
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,782
    Maybe people interact with the terminal through a brainwave scanner:
     -The high-security terminals don't have any ports or in-build functionality for access through other means
     -The high-security terminals have in-build self destruct mechanism against physical tempering. You can't modify the terminal's hardware before you have hacked the software
     -The brainwave scanner can easily destroy your brain through same method it sends information to your brain. It just needs to increase the signal strength to do it
     
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,782
    Depending on how badly user behaved, terminal sends some micro-impulses through input device. If things are severe, user receives permadeath  ban.
    Couldn't a pro hacker make his own cyber implant with micro-impulse protection in it?
     
  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
    Hehe " It just needs to increase the signal strength to do it"

    I am sorry but this is too vague. :) I hope you understand.

    Though, I suppose such a wi-fi like solution could work as long as one guaranteed that all interactions worked like that (and not from a laptop), otherwise, people would use a wifi laptop to avoid being killed. Which is no fun for my idea of a dystopian society. :)
  • vveaver_onlinevveaver_online Member UncommonPosts: 436
    maybe future technologies interact straight with our inherent brain patterns. you would have to wear some sort of helmet to filter it all out.
  • VrikaVrika Member EpicPosts: 5,782
    Hehe " It just needs to increase the signal strength to do it"

    I am sorry but this is too vague. :) I hope you understand.
    I don't think it's vague at all. If the device uses some kind of beam to scan users brain, then it's a simple matter of increasing the beam's strength destroy the brain.

    Or if you're not happy with increasing the signal strength, then let's say the terminal can also shoot laser beams. If whatever is scanning your brain is targeted correctly, and will reach your brain, then so will the laser beam. Any protection from one would also block the other. But I think increasing the signal strength would be more elegant solution than shooting lasers, and that could also allow for several different strengths from scanning to knocking unconscious to killing.
     
  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
    I can understand that scanning a brain might be a thing in the future, but this would not be interesting for my dystopian society, because that society wouldn't be that far off into the future.

    Hehe, I am only interested in electrocuting the user (or something similar), not by other means like gunshot or laser. :)

    Now that you mentioned laser, I suppose, one could imagine data comms streaming through an optical laser, between the terminal and a user, and I suppose in an instant, the user could perhaps be zapped all of a sudden, turning his head on fire if not destroying it.

    I still think electrocution is more charming though, because of how it has to do with electricity, and sort of being similar to the world of electronics. :)
  • AcorniaAcornia Member UncommonPosts: 250
    You could bring back the old telephone booth.  Thinking of a booth where you can not see inside, but can see out of to start off with.  Door must be closed and locked before can use the phone.  ant- tampering device would send high amperage charges from the four metal corners of the booth if trigered grounding through the floor and cable if used.
  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 Member UncommonPosts: 2,770
    I say choose the gameplay that matches the theme and just go for it, you can explain it and have it make fictional sense later once it works.  :p
    But I will say that you do gotta get the theme down right first. Cyberpunk 2020 is a very different world than our modern cyberpunk distopia (or should I say, the one to come?). A hybrid of the two may be confusing of what to expect. But still start with gameplay because you can do almost anything.

    Modern terminals with keyboard interface could have electro shock counter measures or simply shutdown if hacking is attempted. Wearing shock/ESD gloves or gear or even a remote hackdrone could be a counter to avoid that but have other negative effects.

    The jack-in option is much more a Cyberpunk 2020, inspired by 80-90s prospect of the future, thing and probably not going to happen anytime soon. But it would be the easiest way to explain how a player receives various amounts of damage or viruses.


    Sounds like a cool idea you have going there.  :)
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Member LegendaryPosts: 8,839
    This had me thinking about spy's trying to overthrow a government.  The government's agents are supposed to be the only ones with access to these public terminals, used to check in and report to their superiors.  Their laws say that any civilians trying to interact with the public government's tech without authorization risks being killed by electrocution from the devices.  But the agents trying to overthrow the oppressive government know it's the best way to expose what's going on to the people, so they risk their lives hacking into the terminals to get the information needed.

    "We all do the best we can based on life experience, point of view, and our ability to believe in ourselves." - Naropa      "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."  SR Covey

  • TalonsinTalonsin Member EpicPosts: 3,619
    Instead of getting the shock through the connection wire, what about the terminals having a device inside them that if a hack is detected they either project an electrical discharge out a few feet to stun/kill the hacker or that the terminals require a person to hold on to a handle when operating it (kind of like a futuristic capcha to prove it is being used by a human) and the handle sends the charge?  The terminals could even have rods that shoot out from the sides and send the charge between them to shock the would-be hacker or even better, in order to use one of the terminals, you have to step inside a booth and close the door to access it and if a hack is detected the booth shocks you...


    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 Member UncommonPosts: 2,770
    I can understand that scanning a brain might be a thing in the future, but this would not be interesting for my dystopian society, because that society wouldn't be that far off into the future.

    Hehe, I am only interested in electrocuting the user (or something similar), not by other means like gunshot or laser. :)

    Now that you mentioned laser, I suppose, one could imagine data comms streaming through an optical laser, between the terminal and a user, and I suppose in an instant, the user could perhaps be zapped all of a sudden, turning his head on fire if not destroying it.

    I still think electrocution is more charming though, because of how it has to do with electricity, and sort of being similar to the world of electronics. :)
    Instead of lasers, tasers? A terminal that shoots a tazgun with an electric charge? More challenging terminals have more lethal jolt levels.
  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Well you want a solution and I have one but you won't like it.   Are you playing a sim or telling a story?  Answer:  Hint this isn't a sim.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

    Epic Music:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAigCvelkhQ&list=PLo9FRw1AkDuQLEz7Gvvaz3ideB2NpFtT1

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

    John Henry Newman: "A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one could find fault."

    FreddyNoNose:  "A good game needs no defense; a bad game has no defense." "Easily digested content is just as easily forgotten."

    LacedOpium: "So the question that begs to be asked is, if you are not interested in the game mechanics that define the MMORPG genre, then why are you playing an MMORPG?"




  • LokeroLokero Member RarePosts: 1,514
    Acornia said:
    You could bring back the old telephone booth.  Thinking of a booth where you can not see inside, but can see out of to start off with.  Door must be closed and locked before can use the phone.  ant- tampering device would send high amperage charges from the four metal corners of the booth if trigered grounding through the floor and cable if used.
    I was thinking the exact same thing.  A sort of "death chamber" booth.  This would prevent possible collateral damage to nearby innocents, also.

    One would think in any high-tech society zapping an innocent bystander would be unappreciated :tongue:
    Most of the OP concepts sounded rather likely to be messy... although, if it is a type of dystopian society, collateral damage could actually be a good thing for the setting.
  • rodingorodingo Member RarePosts: 2,867
    edited August 2016

    The thing here is to justify the gimmick of being electrocuted in this dystopian world, but the trick is to have it make good sense.

    Well, I don't think being able to be electrocuted through what would essentially be a data port, would make much sense.  Think about it.  Those ports are designed for very low voltage. On top of that, those ports themselves are not connected directly to a power source, but into a motherboard or server switch.

    If enough voltage went through somehow to kill someone I think the internal circuitry would probably be destroyed before being able to actually seriously hurt anyone.  I think at most someone would get a little zap from something like that while the internal cabling would be melted.

    So I would consider re-thinking of killing someone who is jacked in by using electrocution.  Maybe approach it as some type of signal that is sent downstream that disrupts human nervous systems permanently or cause them to have life threatening seizures, coma, lobotomy, aneurysm, etc..

    Don't get me wrong, the idea of being fried via being jacked in seem like a brutal and "cool" way to off someone in science fiction, but if you want something plausible then I don't think an information system dealing with data ports and jacking in would be set up that way.

    "If I offended you, you needed it" -Corey Taylor

  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
    edited August 2016
    "Well, I don't think being able to be electrocuted through what would essentially be a data port, would make much sense."

    I agree :) however, the electrocution part (or something similar) would be a feature, so it would have to be built in (or plausibly something that can happen otherwise).

    I can understand that it might make more sense to engineer some dedicated life terminating weapon, but it sort of doesn't have the same charm I think (as pointed out earlier). :)

    I think I like the notion of a user having to sit on a seat, or touch something, and then the terminal would, not only be able to limit the lethal effect to an area, but also to try identify and intelligently know if someone is there or not.

    With some chair solution, I can envision a beam of current (or whatever it might be) zapping the user, similar to the ending scene in The Return of the Jedi I guess.

    In addition to the lethal effect being electrical, the killing-the-terminal-user would be the important thing. Somehow north america accept cops shooting people dead to secure their own peace of mind, so in a dystopian future setting, I don't think the populace would have much bearing on their predicament. 

    It would be fun to create an MMO based on Cyberpunk 2020 I think, but heh, copyright and stuff. Btw in this world I envisioned, world population would amass in large cities (structures) and each city would be an independent city state (with city states colluding to secure some kind of overall peace). :) Then the rural areas can be appropriated by the people with power. This might not be very original, but I think it would be nice as long as the entire thing is coherent, especially if allow having an open world in such an MMO, then it could be similar to Arma, not being limited to being a first person shooter on foot, but instead include all kinds of vehicles. Ofc, "hacking" and "netrunning" would then be a big thing as well.
  • Gamer54321Gamer54321 Member UncommonPosts: 396
    To sum up what I think I've learned:

    • Terminal has to force a user to use the terminal close up somehow
    • Terminal has to be somewhat intelligent and both sense the presence of a live human being and ID'ing the person, so that people can't cheat the system, by accessing it from afar, or remotely, and without consequences.
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