VERV was not always the solar system-uniting virtual reality device that it is today, able to connect users on distant worlds and give a better life to users on worlds where terraforming did not take hold. VERV has come a long way since its humble beginnings as the Virtual Engineering Rig (VER). It was developed to allow engineers to construct virtual models of buildings, ships, weapons and so on and then perform stress tests and other evaluations of the models under realistic conditions.
Another function of VER allowed users to manipulate robotic limbs as if they were the user’s own, allowing remote repair, exploration and even fine manipulation of deadly substances. This function also found use in a medical offshoot of VER – labelled the Virtual Examination Rig. Doctors were able to virtually explore the body and conduct surgery using a virtual overlay showing the locations of arteries, organs, tumours and so on.
As VER became more popular and widespread, independent engineers and members of the public acquired VER systems for their own use. The input and modifications made by these individuals and groups brought VER to an unofficial second version (VERII). VERII moved from augmented reality towards fully embracing virtual reality. VERII featured the ever-popular Otherworld virtual reality “game” where members could participate in virtual combat, trade with others and interact over long distances.
VER’s developers hired the creators of Otherworld and developed an official third version of the hardware and software (VERIII). VERIII proved very successful and by the time VERVI was released, technology had progressed by leaps and bounds. VERV, the current and publically proclaimed “final” version of the VER hardware is now able to accept a vast range of software, and even allows users to create software from scratch. It connects users to Otherworld and contains fully modular applications which even the most inexperienced user can easily understand the basics of.
VERV is said to be the “final” version of VER because the hardware is now complete and realised, with incredible flexibility for additional modules, so much so that there is unlikely a need for a new overhaul of the system. Additionally, as VERV can now accept any software, its potential appears endless.
Indeed, this potential is being realised by more and more people every day, from children to the elderly. It has united the system, but also presents a new venue for the dark side of humanity. Teenagers see and participate in all manner of vices in illegal v-clubs, hackers spy on individuals, groups and governments, shady deals are made in the anonymity of black boxes, and terrorists rub virtual shoulders with politicians.
VERV has laid the groundwork and it is now up to humanity to decide what to do with it.