That concept certainly pissed off the script-kids, but it made the Matrix a place for professionals again. The sculpting isn’t much different, but the need for a deck and some serious on-the-fly coding skills changed the game. Then there’s GOD looking over your shoulder. I know I said I don’t worry about it with my techno skills, but I know how it works. At least I know that the more illegal actions a hacker performs, things that violate the basic rules of the Matrix, the more disruptions they create. A few here and there, no biggie, but they keep adding up. If they hit the disruption threshold set up by GOD, well, then it’s game over. And GOD, mainly through the Big 10 that run the show on the orbital, has done a great job of keeping the new cyberdecks rare and in the right hands. The fact that they tend to fry the hardware along with the wetware when they come adds to this scarcity.
Damn, I get distracted easy. Okay, Matrix for the modern day from those who grew up with the last one. I see it as safer, but safer in that Stepford Wives, creepsville kind of way. They’ve sorted the system out, kept the number of rabble down and in line, and made sure everyone has access. For those of us already used to that, our Matrix was always wireless, worldwide, and free. it’s the small changes that have made the biggest difference: the role of the grids, nodes now being hosts and devices, and the sheer vastness of its operations. They say the Matrix doesn’t have distance like the real world, but it does, it’s just different—and for us, that’s a big difference.