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.