The world of Beyond

The Company

Beyond (The Neural Horizon) takes place in the same world as the Androids Universe larps.

The most important entity is the Company, the world-encompassing organization that controls all markets and all research worth the name. Until six years ago, they dominated all markets through genetically modified and grown humans, called Androids, who did all cheap labor and filled all important functions in society. Six years ago, a massive scandal resulted in the retirement - death - of millions of these Androids as they were deemed unfit for society and a danger to humanity. Only old models were kept in use, keeping up all menial functions and work assignments across the world. Humanity tried to adapt, while the Company went on to research new solutions. 

One of these solutions is related to a virtual world they have built up, where they perform experiments. It is called the Neural Net, and connects people's minds to this world where they can live, walk around and experience it as if it was real. It has been kept highly secret, but some protest groups have formed, arguing that the Company's research must be unethical and whatever it is that they are working on, it is highly suspicious. The Company's previous record is tarnished and some of these protesters take things into their own hands, attempting to hack the Company server. Inside the Neural Net is where the larp's story and action will take place.

Above: A Suit (Hacker group)

The Neural Net

The Neural Net connects you through a series of electrodes and advanced machinery up to a massive world-spanning communication network. You upload your neural patterns, essentially copies of the minds and self of the users, the people in the real world who logged into their machines. Once these users are connected to the neural network, they experience everything as if it was real. They feel, they taste, they hear things as if they were there, inside the virtual world. In the movie the Matrix, this is the process of going from the "real world" and into the Matrix. The process is similar in Beyond. 

The Users, the physical people, will never enter play. They are off-screen and off-stage. However, when a participant of the larp goes off-game for whatever reason, the character has disconnected from the neural web and can no longer be found inside the virtual structure. It might be a momentary hiccup in the neural net - someone visiting the bathroom off-game - or they might have disconnected and are unreachable from within the Net. 

The story of the Neural Net is that it is entirely run by the Company. They make the rules, they set the limits. Anyone who enters the Neural Net as a regular user will have a plain, standard appearance and will be there at the Company's mercy. Unless, of course, they are hackers who have found a different way inside the Net and who has powers to control their environment that normal Users don't. 

Hacker Groups

There are several different groups of hackers present in the world of Beyond, groups that will be represented at the larp. They are divided into five major subcultures, with smaller groups of friends among them. 

  • The Suits - They look like secret agents, portfolios and fancy clothes accessorizing with their shiny black boots. They tend to do corporate hacks or work as security for businesses that they find interesting. Ethically, they are often more focused on making profit and being known than activism.
  • The Warriors - The concrete warriors, the people who often come from gang-related environments and have grown up in very rough circumstances. They see hacking as another form of survival, a tool to use when they couldn't fit in with others, when they tried to escape the criminal world or when they happened to be a nerd instead of a drug dealer.
  • The Poptechs - Popular music, drinking alcohol and having a good time are some of the core aspects of the poptechs, the "regular", popular people among the hackers. They fit into the normal world pretty well, but they keep their hacking as a secret side-project, something their souls are invested in when they aren't hanging out with their friends. 
  • The Tophats - Eccentric, weird and sporting a mix of bizarre styles, the tophats are a bunch of outcasts and weirdos. They often dress in sportswear or just comfortable clothes, mixed with leopard patterns or floral suits, anything that sticks out and marks them as not belonging with the rest of society. Hacking is a lifestyle for them, a calling. 
  • The Clubbers - Black latex, rivets, colorful hairstyles and ripped fishnets, the Clubbers tend to hang out in dimly lit cyber-cafés with cables hooked up into their heads. They listen to industrial music, engage in all sorts of morbid activities and take pleasure in being seen as the alluring, mysterious but dangerous freaks.