Okay, so what I take from the conversation thus far is:
1. The characters live in the Shadowrun world of c. 2060 (which allows for the tech that underlies the whole concept)
2. All characters will be willingly participants in a closed beta test of a VRMMO.
3. For reasons as yet unknown; a person or persons have sabotaged the beta test so that the participants are 'trapped' within the game.
4. As the VRMMO is basd on Matrix technology, it is possible for your meat body to be killed if your VR self is. Unlike the Matrix, you cannot be forecably jacked out as the dumpshock will also kill you.
5. All of the real world tech, magic and metahummanity is replicated in the VRMMO. The VRMMO experience is so vivid as to be like real life. All five senses are engaged.
6. The characters themselves would not be magically actice in the realworld as it is incompatible to the VRMMO technology. (sorry no burned out mages.)
7. All players believe that the game and AI behind it can be beaten. This in theory should allow a player to leave the VRMMO. Players will receive a breifing on this prior to entering the VRMMO and further information will be discovered in-game.
I now need to get to work so will provide a further update once I discussed rules, number of players, etc with undisclosed.
Sort of, maybe I can clarify a few things, that might make everything a bit easier.
1. The characters live in the future, but it's only somewhere around six-ten years ahead from now. So 2020-2024. The tech that allows for this concept comes from the Sword Art Online aspect of the game. It's Nerve ware, which allows virtual reality gaming. In this setting, it's fairly new, I'd say this game the players will be in, will be the first virtual reality massive multiplayer game on the market. I can link you to Sword Art Online material so you can get a better idea of it? The setting is much more modern, although there are similar themes that link it to Shadowrun. Both are set in the future, both have elements of corporate espionage/corruption. The difference being that there isn't magic, humans are still very much human, and tech isn't really all that more advanced. There are cool things that make things more convenient, but you don't get a full on futuristic vibe from the world, that you'd get from Shadowrun.
2. The beta would have already happened. A few lucky players would have gotten nerve gear and access to the game earlier, testing out for bugs. The game would have played out like a regular game, nothing out of the ordinary. It's not until the official opening to the public that they find the creator has made it so they can't log off, and that if they die in game, they die out of it to; also, if someone tries to physically take the nerve ware off the players while they are in this coma like state, the player dies.
3. The creator has indeed sabotaged it.
4. The VRMMO is based on the Shadowrun game. Think of it as a Shadowrun game being put on the market.
5. All the tech/magic/meta humanity is not replicated from real world things, since none of these things exist in the real world. But the player would experience everything like it's real, to them, it would seem very real. Being injured hurts, dying kills you, things taste good, sex feels good, loud noises can be annoying, so on and so on.
6. There would be no mages in the real world since they don't really exist.
7. The players start off not knowing what's happening, just that they can't log off. An event that forces them all into one city occurs, where a loud voice from the sky(lol) tells them all this. It tells them that they are trapped, and that once the final boss is beaten, everyone is free'd.
Hope this cleared up things!
Color me interested, Shadowrun has always been a fav setting of mine. Careful with 5th edition though, Mages can be insanely OP if given the opportunity.
In regards to Karakres, unless I'm mistaken, I thought the original idea was for this to be set only about 10 years or so into the future, and that Shadowrun would be the MMO that everyone's characters got trapped in.
I also thought outside the game we would be in the modern world set ahead ten years in the future and the game world would just be based on the Shadowrun fantasy setting.
You are indeed correct Arion and Marie!