Better than Life
Better Than Life (BTL) technology is a form of Virtual Reality used for entertainment.
Users install a programmed biochip into an interface to access the program, which is shown from the character's point of view. They experience the same emotions and perceptions the characters experience (often remixed for maximum effect).
Use of BTL media has been found to be addictive, as regular "mundane" reality is not as interesting or stimulating. Longtime addicts are usually detached from reality and have poor or non-existant interpersonal skills due to a lack of interaction with others.
The technology is often criticized for increasing apathy, as users see no point in actually learning or doing something that can be experienced through BTL. Critics of BTL media state that it is a VR gimmick that often relies heavily on inducing emotional and somatic extremes in users rather than offering more subtle and complex experiences.
Technology: Early media were based on recordings of a subject's actual experiences. Popular BTL personalities were celebrities that often had cult followings among their user base. Later media used synthetic amalgams of experiences laid over manufactured personalities created in studios. Some were so extensive that even experienced users couldn't tell the difference between real and simulated subjects.
- Passive media lets the user experience the character's recording as an observer. Their thoughts and feelings are their own but their perceptions are that of the character.
- Active media has the user experience the recording as if they were the actor; their thoughts and feelings are modified or overwritten by that of the character for its duration. This format is very disorienting and long-term or excessive use could lead to personality disintegration.
References & Contributors (Sources)
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- Jae Campbell. "Subsector Data: Zeda Subsector." Signal-GK 11 (1995): 92. - HIWG
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science