Lifeforms
Third Kingdom
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ID: 8513

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July 26, 2016, 4:49 pm

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Zrcado Syndrome

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The first documented virtual illness.

Symptoms:

Zrcado Syndrome is an auto-anxiety disorder that leaves the patient with the delusion that they are incredibly fragile, and moving wrong, being touched, or touching other things could cause them to shatter. It is a Cosmic Era manifestation of 'Glass Delusion', but instead of thinking themselves made of glass, most Zrcado patients feel they are made of energy, the same sort that data is stored in. Rather than shattering in the crystalline/glass manner, they are more concerned with shattering like a program being deleted or 'derezzed'.

Exposure:

The catalyst for Zrcado is excessive CogNet use, especially long term and privacy shredding use. This is typically manifested by teenagers and young adults, the age groups most vulnerable to cog addiction. The majority of patients have systems manipulation knowledge and experience, backgrounds in cybersecurity, or fall under the venue of being hackers. This excessive use of the system leaves them anxious, paranoid, feeling fragile and exposed, and vulnerable to dangers, imagined and real, in the real world. The main mode of escape is to delve back into the CogNet, which only furthers their condition.

Treatment:

The main therapy for Zrcado Syndrome is digital detox, unplugging from the CogNet and limiting personal use to non-immersive handheld devices, avatar interfaces, and basic psychotherapy.

Hazards:

The main hazard of Zrcado is isolation and death from self neglect, victims of the delusion will often go without moving, including feeding themselves and otherwise caring for their health. Out of fear, they will have bypassed security alerts and other safety protocols to prevent household robots from bothering them, or notifying others. Eventually the patient will die from starvation, or secondary infections from cowering in their own feces and filth.

Secondary hazards come from the delusional state of the patients also frequently having trouble telling the virtual world from the real world, not knowing when they are immersed in a simstate or actually wandering around lost. This can see them demonstrating the psychotic behavior common in video games, or cowering in a corner because they can't remember if the cafe is real, or if it is a save point in the survival horror sim they visited once.



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Comments ( 4 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
July 26, 2016, 20:56
0xp
A horrible way to die.
Voted Mageek
July 28, 2016, 0:20
1xp

I would have thought that something like video game addiction would be the first documented illness. Nevertheless, a decent staple.

People could lose the ability to tell the difference between life and the simulated world, and thus begin to feel that they can be deleted / derezzed / scrapped like any of the bots they constantly interact with.

Voted Murometz
July 28, 2016, 14:02
0xp
pretty cool, especially the "digital detox" cure.
Voted valadaar
August 3, 2016, 12:47
0xp
A good bit to add to any cyberpunkish worlds.

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