Bjurn Akely of the 20 Minuters Alliance (@Akely on Twitter) asks:
"I’m not sure I understood you all correctly in the panel when someone pointed out that “No, the Sleepers are not awakened.” Or something to that effect. I can state with certainty that the game says so. In the pop-up boxes that appear when you do run some sleeper sites the text goes yadda (this is really like dangerous and stuff) yadda and it ends with “The Sleepers have awakened.” I don’t know if that is in any way relevant to what you guys were talking about or whether it’s even considered canon lore. It is after all just a pop-up box intended to set your mood for the dungeon/site."
Good catch. I think there's some debate around the terminology both of "Awakened" and of "Sleeper".
"Sleeper" can mean two or three different things, depending on who you talk to. There are:
- the former Jovian minds that inhabit the Sleeper virtual reality
- those minds' bodies, and
- the Sleeper AI drones that guard sites in w- (and now k-) space
Regarding their "awakened" status:
- The drones are certainly awakened: they attack capsuleers daily. They may or may not be using the computational powers of asleep Jovian bodies to accomplish this. Sleepers: definitely awakened.
- The minds in the virtual reality may or may not have "awakened" in that they may or may not be aware of our presence. They're almost certainly still going about their business in their virtual reality environment, though. Sleepers: maybe awakened.
- The bodies they left behind (and each Sleeper mind is supposed to have a one-to-one relationship with a physical sleeper body) have certainly not awakened. The only potential contacts that Sleeper minds have had with anyone in New Eden are the Awakened Infomorph and the Other (which may be the same entity), and neither of those have had a physical presence without inhabiting a different body that's supposed to be owned by someone else, such as Jamyl Sarum. Sleepers: not awakened.