Monday, April 17, 2006


Taking a break from what I was working on... Here's an anecdote from the future! Whoooah.

"Doctor, can you tell me what's wrong with my daughter?"

"Yes. But first, do you watch which games your daughter plays?"

"Well, outside of family night, no... aren't all games pretty much the same?"

"No, I'm afraid not. Just like every drug is different, even though they all come in dermal patches, every game is different."

"Wait... are you saying Aviva has... gamer's complex?"

"I'm afraid so, Mrs. Stevens."

"But there hasn't been an outbreak of gamer's complex since the '41 cyberludic laws!"

"That's a common misconception. In truth, thousands of people come down with gamer's complex every year. It renders them almost incapable of interacting with the normal world, and with the information trade laws, nobody ever hears about them."

"My... my father died in the ludic wars... isn't this what the cyberludic laws were passed to prevent?"

"Well, laws don't work very well. Many of the games that are released slip through the cracks in the laws. Moreover, there is a large underground black market in anachronist games. By her responses, it's likely your daughter has been playing games from the late twenties."

"The same games my father played..."

"I'm afraid so. Laws simply cannot stop information."

"What am I going to do? Back when my father caught it, the only treatment cost millions, and it had a 40% success rate with lots of side effects. Every treatment had to be carefully configured for the individual... we couldn't afford it. I can't afford it now!"

"I'm afraid that the information trade laws and psycholudic restrictions have made legal research in that area nearly impossible. The legal treatment now is the same as it was then, plus inflation."

"... And... illegal treatments?"


"Not all anachronists are anarchists, Mrs. Stevens. Many are trying to advance their science, living in countries which were not advanced enough to sign the laws in '41. Have you heard of The Calling?"

"A little. They say it's a terrorist organization."

"Not all anachronists are anarchists, Mrs. Stevens. I happen to know the frequency codec for a domovoi of the local Calling darknet. You'll need to disconnect yourself from the government network..."

"Wait, you can do that?"

"Yes. Your daughter knows how, and she'll probably be eager to connect to The Calling. Get her to hook you up. Here's the codec seed. But be careful: the darknets are unfair places. Most people tell it like they see it, and some tell it with vigor. You're not used to that, and it will be quite a shock. You'll learn some things you probably don't want to know."

"Won't you get in trouble for this?"

"Only if you turn me in, Mrs. Stevens. Even if you do, I'm a doctor: I took an oath to help wherever I could. Aviva is suffering. The anachronist cures have a seventy to eighty percent rate of success, with fewer side effects. I'm confident that your need to cure your daughter will keep you from turning me in."

"Well... I'll try it. Thanks."


Craig Perko said...

Heh heh, I'm picturing retro gaming in 2099: You plug in your neural jack, dive into advanced VR simulation. In that advanced VR simulation, you sit on a couch, pick up a Playstation controller, and play a simulated Playstation on a simulated TV in a simulated living room...

Patrick Dugan said...

Well, I believe we'll be in a huge N+1 dimensional cloud of quantum graviational string computation by then, but I like this.

Designer drugs, games are the new psychotropes. Some work like crack, a well crafted variant will run like a three day meth binge, occasionally one will shine like blue and green psylocybin.

Some have compared interactivity to conversation, still others to sex, but I'm thinking to psychotropic metaphor is my favorite.