There Is No Escaping The Matrix

1915 words - 8 pages

There is No Escaping the Matrix

In the video game world anything is possible, and if your player dies you can always play again. The videogame industry is exploding in the market place; it's far from child's play and far from the days of pong. In the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly (December 6, 2002) there is an article, Video Game Nation, discussing a new video game experience being touted as the wave of the future, The Real World meets The Matrix. In this virtual world called The Sims Online, people "live" in a virtual environment peopled by avatars created by thousands of other gamers. Neal Stephenson envisioned this future ten years prior with his release of Snow Crash. Stephenson describes a computer-generated "metaverse" where the logged-on could take on "avatars" hang out, and walk around, meet other "avatars" and perhaps fall in love. These artificial realities offer millions of people a chance to step out of our world and enter another dimension where anything can happen. The setting may be artificial in nature, an electronic stream of data creates this artificial world for the player back home, but the interaction and the emotional appeal for the players are very real. When Neo is "reborn" we see where technology has taken us; it has enslaved us and uses us humans as a power source. Why not see that for what it is: a warning. We see computer gaming as nothing more than just escape. This is what technology offers people escape -- from this world, but is something being given up? Perhaps we should look at the nature of the beast and realize we are already enslaved. We are already there linked together in a Marxist fashion struggling for power, shelling out time and money to find solace inside the World Wide Web, aka The Matrix, aka The Metaverse.

Perhaps the future Stephenson sees is a greater metaphor than we imagined, perhaps this path will involve the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, and we will be left looking at the possibility of a machine dominated world. If you look closer at Agent Smiths' statement, "As soon as we started thinking for you, your world became our world." a sliver of truth comes out of it. If the thinking is left for someone or something are we not giving up "our world" in exchange for theirs? Is it possible that people are evolving into a machine loving species capable of finding our selves imprisoned by our own creations? In the movie The Matrix, Agent Smith, the computer-generated villain, expresses his views on The Matrix. He marvels at its beauty, its shear genius. The Matrix, he explains, went through some changes after some "crops" {humans} were lost when the humans failed to accept the "perfect world where everyone was happy." Agent Smith goes on to explain that other Artificial beings "believed we lacked the programming language" to describe the perfect world. Agent Smith comes up with his own theory, that humans need pain and suffering in order to define their reality. So rather...

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