MINDFUCKED. Video Games and the Future of Simulated Immortality
I grew up playing real video games. You know, the kind where we put a floppy disk in a drive after seeing a glimpse of the world I was about to enter, coerced by fantastic box artwork imagery. There were no graphics, our story unfolded in text and our interface with the game was done in the same manner. We made maps, and followed along with our minds ever present and fascinated. No modern player today could appreciate the power of the mind experiencing a story like we enjoyed in the late 70’s and early 80’s without high definition graphics. How could we be entertained for hours and days on end? Most agree, that a good book is almost always better than the movie, revealing how powerful and important the brain is during an experience, but what if games eventually access the mind on an unlimited level?
After Pong and Atari, when computing power started to come home, I remember thinking to myself “someday this will seem real”. Pixel progress and technology are starting to fulfill an old gamers’ prophecies with the introduction of virtual reality, but how far can (or should) it go?
The real year is something around 5017AD. Technology has advanced to an insane level beyond even our wildest imaginations in the present. Video games as we know them today have become super-realistic, to the point of being able to be immersed in the game and not know the difference between reality and digital reality.
These super-video games are, of course, hooked up to the brain and can produce many other interesting effects such as:
Time-dilation — In the video game, hundreds of years can pass by in mere minutes of real-world time. Given the fact that certain illegal substances today can turn 1 hour into a perceived 3 or 5 (DMT, Ketamine & THC, for example), this technology is not a big shocker.
Memory/Knowledge Replacement — While inside the video game (and in real life) we can add and remove memories and information as we please. So you can go inside a game and have a completely new life, personality, collection of memories and skill-set. You can go in and not be able to recognize that you’re even in a digital world.
Obviously this technology is pretty damn cool, albeit equally as scary. Many people choose to spend their entire lives playing the games because they provide a literally infinite amount of possible experiences and existences. You can’t blame them; think of the possibilities!
Some people claim that it is simulated immortality because you can fit in millions of complete life-times in one life thanks to the time-dilation effect. Imagine living 100 years and then coming out back to real-reality to discover only 2 real minutes have past. Wow.
In the beginning, the utopia-like games were the most popular because people wanted to experience bliss. But just as with everything, perfection got boring. Even getting whatever you want without limits wouldn’t do it for you anymore at some point. (Think of it like a video game where there is no challenge, you just get all of the weapons, gear and prizes without doing anything. That gets old fast.) Consequently there was a huge shift towards games with more challenging realities; universes where you had to overcome obstacles to become great and get what you wanted.
Here’s the kicker…
You’re in one of those video games right now. You don’t know this because you chose to have your real memory replaced so that the experience was more realistic and fun! When you ‘die’ in so many years, you’ll wake up to your real life, look at the clock to see that 2 minutes have passed and say to yourself ‘Wow that was pretty crazy… well, time for lunch!’
This now may seem like a horrible idea to many, but when we look closely at humanity today, it’s easy to see why this may very well be in our future. We labor away at work to afford the time and resources to escape reality, be it through games, drugs, travel or spirituality. Escapism is one of the most powerful human desires, maybe second only to love.
With enough time, and technology, your reality might just become unreal.