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Transhumanism in Video Games

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posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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Characters as cyborgs, androids, or humans with robotic features go all the way back to the Jewish legend of Golem, an animated man of clay.

There was also a play with similarities to a Golem from 1920 called R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots). This is where the term “Robot” received its inception. It’s a story about the creation of robots and their inevitable ubiquity from the falling prices which made them affordable worldwide. Does that sound familiar? Sort of like the falling prices of computers over time?… Eventually the robots form a union of sorts and fight back against their masters and eventually kill all of the human beings, but one. The one remaining human is tasked to figure out how to create more robots, so he must dissect one of the two robots who actually have fallen in love with each other. They each beg not to dissect the other and the play ends with the last human being acknowledging that this loving robotic couple is actually the new Adam and Eve. This play is also a statement of the repeating cycles of time that cultures such as the Maya were aware of, but that is another discussion all together.

As time goes by, the trend of cyborg characters being placed in film and television has increased. The Terminator, Robocop, and Battlestar Galactica’s Cylons are some of the more popular characters.

But what is of interest is the rising number of cyborgs in video games. Video games could be one of the most powerful ways of pushing an agenda, due to the captivation and concentration that it requires from its audience. The player will be forced into assuming the role of whatever character it is using. Playing a video game is far more interactive than a film is. Recall the World of Warcraft kid and his famous Youtube video. He was forbidden to play this game and loses it because W.o.W. isn’t just a game to him; it’s his identity. He tries to shove a remote up his ass for God’s sake.

There are several games that feature robots or cyborgs, but a couple of games stand out from the rest.

Mega Man is a series of video games that goes back to the 1980’s from the Nintendo days. Not only was this game ridiculously difficult, but it featured an android as its main character. This protagonist was created in a lab and converted to a battle robot. He has a cannon attached to his arm with an ability to upload knowledge of new attacks after defeating the boss that possessed them.

Later in the game franchise, Nintendo modified Mega Man to become Mega Man X, an android with free will over his actions, thoughts and feelings. Robots that were built to replicate Mega Man X, called Reploids, have the ability to shape shift and also have free will. Even later on in the game series, the lines between Reploids and humans blurs due to the humans being augmented with robotic parts, and all beings are now referred to as Humanoids.

The video game series Deus Ex has a storyline where in the future (2020’s-which is not so far off) augmenting the human body is common. The original Deus Ex game has what is termed “immersive simulation,” where they use a first person camera angle and character interaction to make it feel that there is very minimal “gaming” involved and it creates a more realistic feel. You are a character that has the ability to customize and upgrade your body with over 50 augmentations. The story line also features various conspiracy theory topics; The Majestic-12 scientists are working on self-replicating nanobots that will communicate with the human host’s brain. Later on in the story a few more years, the Majestic-12 defeat the Illuminati in a power struggle and the character JC Denton is successfully nano-augmented as one of their agents. Even later on in the story, nano-augmentation is widespread. The story line has several more turns and such, but you get the picture.

Disclaimer: I’ve never played Deus Ex; I’ve just read this stuff online so please take any description mistakes with a grain of salt. The point is, this game is just one of many video games that perpetuate the acceptance of transhumanism by first instilling the identity into the player. “Deux Ex” is derived from the Latin expression “Deus Ex Machina” which means “God out of the machine.” The game has several conspiracy theory aspects to it (Majestic-12, Illuminati, Area 51, etc.), so it obviously is privy to a thing or two about the direction we are headed, whether it is just a conspiracy theory or truth. In their defense, the creators of the game aren’t trying to hide anything; they are/were quite aware of the philosophy behind transhumanism. They’ve embedded the ethical issues surrounding transhumanism, especially in the dilemma faced by the protagonist since the character has been dealt a certain technological “hand.” In this interview with the lead writer for Deus Ex, Mary DeMarle, the IEET extracts information about the creation of the game: ieet.org...

Transhumanism expert, Ray Kurzweil, has a consistent history of correct predictions about what our future holds for us. Using Moore’s Law (trend of increasing transistors available per square inch) and his expertise in the field, he predicts we will have a computer powerful enough to replace our brain in 2029. That’s only 17 years from now. How old will you be in 17 years? Does that seem so far off? Is it possible your thoughts and emotions could be immortal? These ideas are ones we should be thinking about right now before it’s too late. Our existences, thoughts, emotions, etc. could live in a virtual environment, like Facebook, where your thoughts are carried out virtually while your physical body lies still. By 2045 Kurzweil believes that we’ll have a computer powerful enough to contain the entire planet’s collection of thoughts, memories, and emotions. Sounds a bit like the Matrix, but it’s the trend and there is so far no reason to not believe it possible. Kurzweil dubs this combination of human body and virtual electronic world, “The Singularity” because, like a black hole, once we cross that edge there’s no going back. The rapid change in technology will surpass our abilities to control it.

I posted an article on my blog in February 2012 about a website that allows you to build an avatar of yourself. You then proceed to mail your DNA into this website and they’ll cryogenically freeze it so that in the future when they’ve mastered the ability to replicate consciousness through a computer, they can recreate your entire being. Here’s the link to that article for more information: illuminatiwatcher.com...




posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:13 AM
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I'm for Transhumanism, as long it is done in an Extropian method. I'd love to have my intelligence uploaded into a computer for future generations to place into a robot.



posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:22 AM
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I had to look "extropian" up lol. That's good to know that there is a term for that, I also agree; we need to be careful how we implement this emerging technology. The field changes so fast that it's hard to keep up with it.



posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 09:45 AM
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Considering how the goverment loves control of everything and anything i found this video from deus ex revolution to be a pretty good indicator of what would happen if this became a possibility. Would definitly benefit mankind but i think we all know profits come way before that little nugget.

www.youtube.com...

Im not sure how to embed videos so if anyone could embed it for me that would be great.
edit on 24-2-2012 by vaelamin because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by vaelamin
Considering how the goverment loves control of everything and anything i found this video from deus ex revolution to be a pretty good indicator of what would happen if this became a possibility. Would definitly benefit mankind but i think we all know profits come way before that little nugget.

www.youtube.com...

Im not sure how to embed videos so if anyone could embed it for me that would be great.
edit on 24-2-2012 by vaelamin because: (no reason given)






posted on Feb, 24 2012 @ 08:42 PM
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Well right now artificial intelligence that operates similiar to a human mind is far off. But once quantum computing is here all bets are off.



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