Fast Forward 2020

Fast Forward 2020
Return of the Future

Shawn Williams | 9 Aug 2005 08:08
Fast Forward 2020 - RSS 2.0

How the Future taunts gamers. It is always there, mocking our pathetic video cards, our antiquated processors, and our outmoded internet connection. Like some bastardization of Moore's Law, the more you spend on your computer, the faster it will give your friends the opportunity to ask, "You paid HOW much for that thing?"

I now have a mobile phone that can easily pass the Turing Test, refute Cartesian Philosophy, and show me a video of someone getting kicked in the groin - at the same time. I'm not sure if I can actually make phone calls on it yet, but it assures me it's the only friend I'll ever need to talk to, so there's no real point in trying. But even this silicon powerhouse is vulnerable to its upstart offspring; no more than 24 hours after charging its batteries for the first time, I received an email on it offering me a discount on its successor. A unit that promised to truly astound me with the advances it has over its predecessor.

I can only imagine the pain my phone went through, delivering that message to me. It's as if I were forced to tell my wife how absolutely wonderful her next husband is going to be, and what a superior lover he will make. True though that may be, I certainly wouldn't want to come home advertising it.

My phone is merely the latest victim in the realm of advancement. As fiction becomes reality and we move into the era of that long-fabled Virtual Reality, we'll see a retro movement in the gaming technology sector that will shame Disco.

Once computers and graphics processors are able to mimic reality, watchdog groups will learn that the Grand Theft Auto titles were mere warm ups. They'll be called upon in record numbers to protest video games with more hysterics than ever. Contrary to what they expected, the more accurate and realistic violent video games become, the less entertaining they will be for children.

Instead, parents will be in an uproar over Grand Thought Identity, a virtual reality game that will instill teenagers with the ability to think for themselves and make sound, reasoned arguments using the dialectical method. Lawhunter, a game that teaches you the functions of the government (local municipal offices on Easy Level, state senate on Medium, and Congressional Filibustering on Legendary), will break all previously known records despite Madam President Clinton's efforts to make it illegal to create a game documenting any of the legal process on the grounds that giving "anyone" that sort of knowledge poses a security threat - of the mauve level.

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