This Is L.A.: Pito Bandito

If earthquakes and floods weren’t enough, Los Angeles is plagued by social media as well. To be more exact: Persona 2.0, or „Pito” for short. Imagine Youtube, Facebook and LinkedIn all in a neat little package: camera drones film you all the time, serving the live video to hundreds of schmucks watching you, you have a contact list (to which – and that’s sure as hell – some spackers you don’t even know will try to add themselves), and, to top it off, a meter that displays your degree of connections to the Big Green, Gary Cline (the Horizon CEO). Of course, an ordinary schmuck off the street can’t get a P2.0 account – you need an invitation first, which means that if you don’t make an impression on someone, you won’t be able to show off in the city. And showing off is a sacred thing in LA. If you don’t show off, you don’t exist. Period.

And here’s where something came to my mind. First, streaming everything 24/7 is boring, even if you’re Charlie Sheen or a homicide cop. Another thing: if you’re an actor, or a director, or a screenwriter, and there are shitloads of those folks in LA, you won’t like those mechanical paparazzi interrupting you at work on set or while writing. So, if you want to be a hot-topic Pito Bandito, put some of your best bits up in advance. And here are two things that apparently went over the heads of the writers:

  1. Cameras will follow you, unless you opt out.
  2. All recorded material will be available at your account as a draft that you will be able to work on after hours. You can also stream the whole thing live and, at additional charge, delay it.

Makes sense? Sure does. Of course, there are still annoyances like ToS written in legalese and security made to prevent all those Chanonymous from breaking in for one purpose or another. And as you can figure out, there’s that bit about non-exclusive, royalty-free and transferable license to use, transmit, blah blah, modify, blah blah, publicly perform and display everything you or the drones following you filmed, without compensation. So at the first sight all is cool, you can wipe out or blur corporate logos, faces and other stuff, but in the end it’s the corporation that keeps the material in non-edited form and may use it to spectacularly screw you over. The upside of that is that nobody’s gonna break into Horizon’s systems and steal it. Or is it? 😉

Apart from that, every social media service has its community, and P2.0 isn’t any different. Such communitist (excuse the pun) approach has its pros and cons. The cons are, obviously, all kinds of trolls and asshats – so don’t be surprised if someone throws a fit and kick you off their contact list for publicly calling his favorite toy a piece of shit. But that’s not a problem, since you can either moderate or murderate the guy. As for the pros, a real-life example: a couple of years back, I got a birthday gift from the US. It was sent to me by a girl from one cartoon fans forum (I’m not giving you the forum website as the admins are a bunch of uptight dicks and, what’s worst, I’m not alone in that opinion). I was surprised – well, you don’t always get a Coca-Cola glass, a postcard and some minor junk like notepads and stickers only because it’s your birthday and someone likes you. But back to Shadowrun: you never know when someone’s going to get you a helicopter evac after you got shafted by your employer during the mission or send you a couple thousand nuyen for some spectacular action.



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