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In a cyberpunk city, what would it realistically look like to go to download your mind onto the internet, or to at least enter the internet by sending your mind into it, Neuromancer-style? How would you describe things like chatrooms, using search engines like Google, hacking and downloading, if they weren't 2D boxes on a screen, but 3D? What might it even feel like?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by sphennings, Vincent, Frostfyre, L.Dutch, Aify Jun 29 '17 at 6:58

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ UI is a extremely subjective concept. $\endgroup$ – sphennings Jun 28 '17 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Your question looks opinion-based, meaning that there is probably no somewhat objective way to rate answers against each other. There are a lot of ways how this has been portrayed already (think Matrix or Tron) and there are a lot of different directions you could go with current VR technology. How you want to represent this in your scenario is depending completely on what you want to convey. Should it be dark? Minimalistic? Bright? Sterile? Magical? $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Jun 28 '17 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ This is both subjective and extremely broad. Download your mind onto the internet? First of all it would be an upload ;) OR send your mind into the internet? Under what constraints? Who controls your mind, who has permissions to change it or copy it in any way, who has permission to save data and where, how the heck do you make data and your mind equivalent, is your mind copied or is it augmented (and if copied, do you leave your body behind and die or is your consciousness shared with a network or whatever) etc. etc. etc. $\endgroup$ – r_alex_hall Jun 28 '17 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ @r_alex_hall What do any of those issues have to do with the question that was asked? While I agree the question lacks objective criteria to determine a "best" answer, the issues you've raised, while relevant for other aspects of the OP's world/power, are unrelated to this question. $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Jun 29 '17 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ That practically anything could be made to appear relevant to the question is the point, and a demonstration of the question being too broad. "..download your mind onto the internet.." and "..sending your mind into it.." could be done (and has been done hypothetically in sci-fi) so many different ways and could itself have so many different conceptual meanings that there's no relevant specific meaning of the question on which to hang answers. I'm saying the question can't easily be answered because it's too broad. $\endgroup$ – r_alex_hall Jun 29 '17 at 19:14
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The human mind is great at finding patterns and making associations. If something is presented to it that is close enough to an experience it already had, it will fill in the gaps. So it will readily identify boundaries that it cannot cross as "walls", etc.

The internet, or any complex computer network, is more like a system of tunnels than it is like a cityscape. Sorry Tron fans.

Since you can disconnect (I am assuming one can in your world) whenever you want without having to "travel" back to your starting point, it makes little sense to use travel as a model for the experience. It would more be like you select a tunnel and the fabric of the world around you shifts until your current point is the same as the other end of that tunnel. A chatroom would be a space or opening wherein multiple visitors are aware of each other and can communicate, maybe even chat. A hacker would be someone who can find a door where there should not be one.

Depending on your connection method, there could be a server in between you and the internet that is processing your requests and converting them into content for a VR helmet or such. Perhaps that is the function of all dedicated access points in your world, is to provide a "translation" service where the signals are converted to a VR experience.

Search engines are servers providing a service, so you would essentially be asking a butler to fetch something for you.

Really your question is very open and the "right" answer is a matter of opinion.

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