Street

Street is the grounding in places and people. Street means you know where to go and who to talk to.

Immersion

For this game, we abstract knowledge of language, culture, and location into immersion. While modern technology can provide almost-real-time translation services for speech and text (either with subtitles or speech synthesis), it adds a slight hitch into any interaction; even the fastest computer has to wait for a German to voice the verb at the end of the sentence. Going through a translator imposes a +1 difficulty on social checks where understanding the language and culture matters.

Every starting character automatically has up to four immersions, presuming they have at least ten years in any of them:

So a Decker of Mexican heritage who grew up in Messy Seattle but joined the Haven project in Redmond as an adult would speak the Spanish and English languages as well as decker lingo and Madagascar creole, be able to intuitively code-switch, and know how to schmooze with the Havenly as well as fellow deckers.

Many cultures do not have their own language, but have a lingo. Lingos are informal languages formed out of a mother tongue and heavy with slang, jargon, and culturally significant metaphorical language. Lingos arise out of professional and often cultural need. For example, the Cityspeak word wiz came from jargon specific to the magically active. Lingos are specializations of base languages.

For every upgrade milestone in Street, a character gets one more immersions, including knowledge of how to effectively use them. (Just because you know a lingo doesn’t mean you should be the one to use it... but with an immersion, you have a good idea of how your words will be received.) This means 3 immersions at Street +1, 6 at Street +2, 10 at Street +3. They also get one extra Contact in that culture. Assume a possible immersion exists for every cultural region in the world (e.g.: anyone from the Confederated States of America will understand the nuances of how someone is using the phrase bless your heart, but someone from Austin won’t necessarily blend in in New Orleans). Some immersions in 2050:

Entirely nonhuman languages like Naga, Merrow, and Sasquatch remain a matter of great difficulty for panhuman linguists, and translation software is extremely crude. The most common languages on the streets of Seattle are English, Japanese, Salish dialects, Aztlaner Spanish, Russian, Korean, and (in some neighborhoods) Sperethiel.