First Look at the setting:
We’re looking at the year 2060. While nations still exist on paper, most of civilisation is effectively governed by laws and „recommendations“ of the WTO. The interests of companies and their shareholders are more important than those of so-called „sovereign nations“.
Technology has advanced quite far in the past 53 years: The mind-machine interface has been perfectioned. Everyone is able to access the Google Grid everywhere, without the need of clunky interfaces like a screen or a keyboard: Information is fed directly to the optical and audio nerve system, user input is done via a thought-interface. All that is needed for this is a small implant in the skull, connected to a miniature-computer located in the abdomen. These systems don’t store data or have much computing power, but excel in accessing the wifi Grid.
Cyberjockeys boost this by the use of much more external computers, connected with optical cables to their body-systems.
In Europe, coastland china, Japan and the USA the majority either work as data processors for various big corporations — they evaluate, sort, tag and file data that cannot be processed by computer programs — or they are service personnel of various kinds. A trained elite works as programmers, or artificers.
The bulk of industrial production is handled by robotic facilities, same with farming.
The good news: Corporations finally have discovered the need to cut down on pollution, and to sustain the environment. With the invention of micro-reactors and the uranium compactor, a device that compacts the dangerous parts of radioactive waste into „safe“ containers that can be shot into the sun, nuclear energy has become the prime energy source. The use of fossil fuels has become nearly nonexistant.
The corporations and regions that were dependant on these ressources have undergone a radical change and now „sell“ religion instead. This market is now nearly split in half by ChristianShell and BP Muslimics two bitter enemies. ChristianShell is dominating Asia and southern America, while BP Muslimics holds sway in Africa, North America. The Middle East has become an ever greater battleground than ever before, where both corporations fight for domination. Curiously, Europe has been spared this fight, as Atheism has reached a all-time high there, and both corporations are only seen as small franchises.
The average citizen is fed, has decent housing, a 10hours/day job and can afford a virtual trip to Hawaii once a year. (The real Hawaii suffered an outbreak of a still unknown bioweapon that wiped out the whole population in 2020 and is now a no-go area for everyone, heavily guarded by WTO forces.)
People still have dreams of a better future. Thes dreams are nurtured by a whole entertainment industry, in the form of trivid-shows that promise people getting instantly rich or famous or even both by competing in model/singing/wrestling/bazooka contests (Fights to the death are legal in most WTO-controlled areas, if all participants enter the contests willingly and knowingly).
In reality, the future is pretty bleak for most of the population, although most don’t realize it.