In January, 2030, a little-known company Lazarus released the alpha version of its ground-breaking technology: the first true VRMMO—that is, virtual reality massively multiplayer online game—that seemed leaps, bounds, and decades ahead of its time, not to mention its competitors.
With the purchase of a relatively inexpensive headset (around $100 USD, less than the cost of a typical gaming console), anyone could participate in the alpha version of Digital World. The headset itself resembles a pair of goggles with a stiff black strap to secure them on the wearer's face. Both the lenses and strap are jam-packed with bits and bobs of esoteric technology. More than one person has ruined theirs, trying to crack them open to get a look at the guts! The VR headset translates all virtual sensations from Digital World into physical sensations in the real world. (Many experts theorize that this is through stimulating the wearer's nervous system through small electrical impulses.) However, pain is converted into a slight tingle rather than anything truly harmful.
The VRMMO itself is called Digital World. Digital World is currently little more than a social community, albeit a really awesome one. Wearing a headset immediately logs the wearer in as a new or existing player, where they materialize as a virtually identical avatar of themselves in Digital World's main hub, known simply as Hub. Players are able to explore Hub, interact with other players, and join and create private rooms to personalize and curate.
Hub is a network of floating landing platforms connected by teleportation pads. Players who attempt to jump off of a platform find themselves plucked out of the air and placed back on the platform as though by a giant, invisible hand. Teleportation pads allow access to any landing platform and those private rooms that the player has access to.
Since its reveal, Lazarus has been hinting at the future of Digital World—a full-fledged MMORPG featuring quests, NPCs, combat, and crafting. Some select players have received "super alpha" invites to participate in teasers, where they've been able to test out the combat system and interact with unbelievably life-like NPCs.