I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed I can’t go to work on a hover board, or enhance my abilities by bolting on a bionic enhancement.
There is, however, a little grain of truth in most of these futuristic devices that we can see the start of development now. It’s the stuff of fantasies, dreams and most importantly, gaming.
We can rule time travel out straight away. There’s simply no evidence today that would suggest that it has reached the masses in the future because surely someone would have come back and told us? That said, we have to ask ourselves if we would see any evidence of time travel in our time-line. Our future obviously hasn’t played out yet so would potential time travel events occur and affect an alternative time-line that we’re simply never going to see? Depends on which philosophy you subscribe to but it’ll screw with your mind either way.
The more likely of these futuristic developments are those which enhance the human anatomy.
I’d love to see versions of the technology seen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the stepping stones for such developments exist today.
Medical science has made discoveries about the brain, a little by mistake, that could present itself soon as cures for debilitating diseases and therefore offer up a better quality of life for many.
During an operation to probe the brain, literally, to find possible eating triggers for an obese patient, doctors stumbled upon the ability to make the patient recall distant memories that were no longer at the forefront of the patients psyche.
They were able to recall images from their childhood, faces, sounds and smells so vivid that it felt as if they were there at that present moment in time reliving the moment.
This probing has kick started the possibility for developing drugs or even cortex implants that can regulate the nervous system of a Parkinsons sufferer or even help an Altzheimers patient recall their memories without suffering the indignity of forgetting even the tiniest detail.
It wouldn’t be long after proper medical applications of such a technology that they were adapted or abused to enhance those who are perfectly fit. Why have an IQ of 150 when it could be 500?
The regulations surrounding an advancement in this area need to be clearly defined to prevent the human race from killing itself by just becoming a bunch of super thinkers. It simply wouldn’t work. McDonalds would cease to exist!
It would be better if you could simply ‘jack’ yourself in like in The Matrix and download skill sets as and when you required them. They could have a shelf life that required the user to pay a subscription for their continued use therefore only allowing an individual to have a limited set of abilities at any one time. This of course goes out of the window when those with all the cash (a.k.a. the rich bastards) simply buy up everything in one go and become elitists in a mere matter of moments. Again regulations would be needed but then that might limit the extent to which we see an individual explore enhancements. Regulations can be used boring, just look at the EU.
Other medical implants include rebuilding the eye and feeding images back in to the brain for those with impaired or non-existent sight. As soon as that image become crystal clear we’ll have the option to have a Head Up Display (HUD) built in to ourselves. Forget using Google Street View on your mobile to find your way, it’ll simply be illuminated in your vision. Stare at the sign for your local restaurant and you’ll be able to see if there’s a table free or get bus and train updates shown to you when you’re within proximity of a stop.
I reckon you’ll even be able to connect via bluetooth to your smartphone (which will probably be another implant) and get an image of who’s calling or have the visuals of the 3D game you’re playing piped directly in. Maybe I should patent that? Does mean that the zombies that I see on my daily train commute will have even vaguer expressions on their faces and possibly look like they’re having a fit in some cases. Maybe not so appealing.
We’ve already seen the success of Oscar ‘Bladerunner’ Pistorius at the 2012 Olympics with his blades and have championed his skill and determination to not let a disability prevent him from competing.
With the advance in robotics I’m wondering if these blades will become redundant when the advent of robotic muscles are in use. Something along the lines of what you see in the film iRobot.
Science and technology has always lent it’s breakthrough ideas and thoughts to science-fiction. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and Philip K Dick, to name but a few, have all taken snippets of ideas that are either in early stages of development and discovery, or are still just theories that have yet to be tested.
These little grains of truth are what allow their usage in films and games to be plausible. We want them to be real so we allow them to be, providing there is some sort of grounding in present day. The more plausible it seems, the more likely we are to buy in to the idea being sold to us.
Films give you someone elses intense viewpoint of the futuristic idea they’re trying to flaunt which will generally be in the science-fiction genre by its very nature.
Gaming is obviously different in that it gives you control of the drivers seat.
With a game you don’t have to wonder if you can leap a building because of some serum you drank you just go ahead and do it. You can put on any apparatus or attach devices to make you super human in a number of otherwise inconceivable ways.
It’s one of the things that gaming does best.
The freedom of being able to roam anywhere by any method is an escapists dream and probably one of the biggest draws for gaming.
So you want to be Brian Clough? No problem.
Want to race in Nascar? Sure.
Feel like taking on the end of the world from an invasion of mutant humanoid pigs with a couple hundred weapons that can be integrated with your half robotic body as part of a neural and prosthetic upgrade? Why not.
It’s a crying shame that I can’t digitise myself like in the film Tron and run amok on a digital landscape. Oh hold on, I can. It’s just a shame that the games tied in with the film weren’t up to scratch otherwise they’d be on to a winner.
Whether any of these wonderful contraptions or advancements come to fruition in the real world is an era in the future which I sadly doubt I’ll ever see.