Online games: Stinger’s Private Identity

Continuing the last excerpt, it takes extra steps to switch to a private identity…

Having switched to his game identity of Stinger, Braxton dressed in jeans, running shoes and a hooded sweat shirt. He slipped a tranquilizing dart pen into a pocket in case he needed it, then patted it with a flourish. He washed his face with cold water, twirling the hand towel like uncooked pizza dough before drying. He hummed and danced his way into the kitchen, blended yogurt, fruit and protein powder into a power drink then downed it, enjoying every drop.

As he left his apartment he was interrupted by an active knowledge alert on his front door teleportal.

It was a fully realistic CGI persona giving him a message. “This is an authorized privacy alert,” it said. “Do you want to confirm validity?”

“No,” Braxton answered.

“You are using your private Stinger identity, so the active Braxton filters won’t recognize you. But a new exploit may determine that you are Braxton when you pass in front of a Braxton recognition filter. We can fix this using direct active knowledge, or we will guide you in fixing this. Or you can ignore this alert.”

“Fix it,” Braxton said.

“It is being fixed,” the Alert persona said, looking briefly in the distance before turning back to him. “Your privacy settings are as secure as possible.”

“Should I continue wearing a hat or a hood in public?” Braxton asked.

“Yes. Someone who knows your Braxton identity can still recognize you in person or on a remote teleportal. The less visible your face the better.”

“Thank you and good-bye.” Braxton said, unfocusing the active knowledge alert.

As he left his apartment his door sensor called the elevator and updated his recognition-based apartment and property protection systems so he could return as Stinger.

As he entered the pre-opened elevator he felt like a bubbling cauldron beginning to spill over as it boiled. Deep inside, his strongest desire had blazed to life, helping stoke the fire. If he could experience the raging, transforming power he had tasted once before, he might recapture the biggest rocket ride of his life. He grinned and took a deep breath. It was time to make that happen. Then he’d know what to do.

* * *

Downstairs, Braxton pulled the sweatshirt’s hood over his head while sauntering casually out to the sidewalk. Anyone who wanted to track him could slap up a remote teleportal anywhere near his building, where it would self-configure and auto-join the shared spaces of everyone who controlled it. With many public spaces unregulated, millions of private remote teleportals had been put nearly everywhere, capturing and transforming reality into whatever their owners wanted.

Privacy was up to each person. It came from using a private identity, which turned off face recognition, digital boundaries, and a biometric shield like a hood. Most people didn’t care, though hoodies were common. People had grown used to the Earth being one large digital room with everyone in it.