Screenery - the images and loops shown on large screens and monitors inside space stations, arcos, and geofronts to counter the feeling of oppression or claustrophobia that can occur in such enclosed locations.
One of the largest psychological hurdles to overcome in creating high density human hives was the feeling of claustrophobia, the feeling of being confined or entombed inside the cyclopean megastructures of the era. Screenery combats this feeling by presenting large, often panoramic views of outside images and video feeds.
The most eye catching use of screenery is found in arcologies, where the public wall space in corridors and public areas is used for passive advertizing. There are digital signs, billboards, and video loops that are professionally designed and engineered to draw the eye and subtly offer the product. The social limitations of the medium, IE no audio and no electronic interaction, have pushed the artistic design envelope and rather than 30 second ads, the walls display often as long as thirty minute loops. Smart Screenery can be interacted with by people with floating CogNet links, such as the appropriate cyberware, or CogNet active device.
2. Emotional Manipulation
The weather has a major impact on the mental and physical health of humans, and the use of screenery was developed to sustain this. Without screenery, many common locations are oppressive prisons, especially truly entombed locales like geofronts. It is no surprise that the use of ambiance is used to manipulate the general populace. Most Screenery is based off of outdoors locales and views of outside. The populace is agitated? Overcast conditions and misting rain continue. Populace isn't feeling cheery, summer weather, or seasonally appropriate imagery. The affect is minor, but it moves large portions of the populace towards whatever the desired outcome is.
When there is a need for a scare, screenery is a perfect medium for delivering it. Shutting down the government hits closer to home when it means that the screenery is turned off, or reduced to a minimal setting.
As an extension of the advertizing medium, screenery in commercial locations is often used to plug holodramas, entertainment feeds, and other entertainment mediums. Some common applications include selling microdramas, stories told without characters or dialog, just watching the story unfold at a distance, building an audience that buys in to learn more. Who is the man in the blue shirt, and why does he keep seeing the woman in yellow, are they lovers? Are they dating? Is this an affair? Another application is displaying macro-imagery of an established setting, that's Dawson's Creche, and it's all decorated for Black Friday, but why is Dawson by himself on a skiff over the lake? Why does he look so sad in the distance, better tune in when we get home.
One of the overriding themes of the Cosmic Era is that Everything is Terrible, and as such, the populace of the Cosmic Era is constantly involved in a near constant state of escapism
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Update: This was intended to be a short article and drastically ran over. I've not touched it in two months, and it's time to kick it out of the nest. This is an excellent candidate for a bloody editing
As a reader, I don't have problem with its current length. As a non-fan of sci-fi and your Cosmic Era setting, I still think it a solid article that goes thru in a concise way the purpose of screenery.
Another good background piece.