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Transhumanism: Learning Of Death Through Videogames

2158 words - 9 pages

Joon Seo Youk
ENG 201
Transhumanism: Push Start to See Your Future Death
In the words and eyes of writer Gustave Flaubert, the death of a friend was described as, “A friend who dies, it’s something of you who dies.” There are various solutions however: in the eyes of some individuals, transhumanism(h+) is a viable solution to said problem. Of course, some view transhumanism closer to a fantasy than reality but transhumanism does directly answer death as an issue and is supported by the likes of Max More, Nick Bostrom, and Ray Kurzweil. While living in a society where many view the possibilities of a transhumanist world to be likely and, as members of a race in constant fear of death, it would be responsible to educate ourselves and pave a harmonious mindset to transhumanism in order to pave the a future where we may coexist. That being said, there is an unexpected method of learning about death in a transhumanist setting, and that is through video games (vg). The creatively unbound nature of the content and player choices of vg can closely simulate not only real life, but also transhumanism settings and worlds difficult to experience otherwise. One of those experiences would include death in a transhumanist world. Despite being commonly considered as hobbies, vg are actually a viable and effective way for us to participate and learn about death in transhumanism. ang transhumanism
During the mid 20th century, even before the exponential rise of vg popularity, programmers were already synthesizing Utopian ideas and concepts of a new life with computer technologies, making it likely for vg’s to become a good mirror of such desires(Turner 2006). Perhaps, one of the more overlooked ideas shared in transhumanism and in vg would be the concept of second chances. For example, consider accidents, say, nuclear waste spills. Common sense dictates a we will die when exposed to bodies of nuclear waste. On the other hand, in vg, we do not die so easily. We always seem to find ourselves revived at the checkpoint scratching our heads. While we are scratching our heads, we may return to our game autonomously with no further thought for our death but after consideration, we realise that our death was not a complete loss, as our experience, has actually made us more than the character that died of radiation poisoning. Through rightful and fair second chances, vg’s do not nearly as brutally punish players for one mistake as in real life. In vg, one mishap as a new player does not mean you will be crippled for life, nor can one be punished for being assigned a character with missing items from the start. Meanwhile, it is true that transhumanism partially focuses on topics like immortality and cryogenics, from artificial limbs to replaceable organs, transhumanism also has a massive emphasis on second chances for individuals who are in need (Blake 2012). It is as if the goal of transhumanism was to fix innocent mistakes, and...

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