Societies of Gamer: Our Future?

Posted: September 5, 2009 in Entertainment, Politics
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The new Gerard Butler movie, Gamer, is a futuristic piece in which fully interactive computer games have become a lifestyle norm. While Butler’s character, Kable, is a wrongfully accused prison inmate battling his way through a game called Slayers in order to win his freedom, his wife has had to pay the bills by working in a game called Societies. Both of these games allow real people trapped in the game environment to be controlled by game players sitting at home. While the executional premise of Slayers is unlikely to be seriously adapted in our culture, Societies is certainly not out of the question.

There is already a growing culture in social-based games like Second Life in which one player allows him or herself to be controlled by another. Abuse victims, social recluses, and people battling a low self-image play out a fantasy of domination and submission online and sometimes will take the fantasy into the real world, destroying marriages and families in the process. Societies in Gamer takes this to a whole other level.

A morbidly obese man controls the play of Butler’s on-screen wife. He allows her to be sexually molested in public, takes her to raves in which other players are making real people perform sexual acts, and is about to let her have aggressive intercourse with a character known as Rick Rape when (well, I don’t want to spoil a major plot point). In contrast to its name, it is actually the complete degeneration of society.

The architect of all of this, Ken Castle played by Michael C. Hall, is a computer genius that has devised a way for humans to receive control input through their minds in a scheme to control the world’s population. While this sounds technologically sci-fi, he pitches a lesser version of the concept well on a talk-show by offering the idea that when you’re controlled you don’t have any worries because your needs are being met — no responsibilities. This may be a type of technology the gaming industry will head for in an effort to make play seem more “life-like,” but it also sounds eerily familiar to a bill of goods we’re being sold in today’s America.

Our current government keeps trying to take more and more control. They’ve done it with the auto industry and the banks, they’re trying to do it in the energy industry through cap-and-trade, and they’re trying to take over health care. If we continue to let it happen then we will become mere puppets to the new regime and find ourselves suddenly bent over in front their own version of Rick Rape.


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