Aware of my great insight in these matters, people often ask me what the future of gaming is going to be. Well, actually they don’t. That’s a lie. No one asks me that. But anyway. We won’t get hung up on that. This would actually be a very pertinent question if someone did ask it. We all know that the future’s going to be gamified and that there’s now no way this trend can be reversed at this stage, but where will it all end? What’s next? That’s the question that’s on everyone’s lips. Well, on some people’s lips maybe. I guess.
So all that stuff about how our personalities are going to be uploaded into a simulated version of reality is old hat at this stage. That’s yawn material, no matter how you present it. It’s been done too many times. The question is, what’s going to happen after that? So we’re all going to live in the simulation where we can all have virtual immortality (or some of us can have, depending on the game) and perfect virtual health will be available to everyone since simulated bodies never get sick like physical ones. And of course there’ll be no need to work anymore (unless you want to) because it all a simulation anyway and so you can have everything you want at zero cost because – let’s face it – none of it’s real. Illusions are cheap to manufacture. You can be anything or anyone you want and the only limit is your (or rather someone else’s) imagination. Your dreams can all come true, both the good ones and the bad ones (if that’s your bag). That’s all a given. We all know that. You’re not going to win a prize for coming out with that old stuff again. But what happens next? What’s all this leading up to? That’s the big question that no one seems to be thinking about – what’s the next stage after simulated reality? People aren’t asking this question because they’re still stuck on the obvious; they’re still coming out with stuff about the holographic universe or the matrix or whatever as if that’s somehow supposed to be radical.
The answer – when you get the relevant flash of insight (as I have) – is stunningly obvious. It’s ridiculously obvious once you see it, but then again if you don’t see it (as you probably won’t) then that’s not going to be much good to you. It all comes down to energy expenditure. That’s what everything ALWAYS comes down to. Or if we were to put it another way, it all comes down to finding the right cheat. If you can cheat the system then you will and if you can’t then you’ll have to do the necessary work. Any zoologist could tell you that. That’s how things work. So the first cheat we come up with is hyperreality – instead of doing something exciting we watch someone else do it on TV. Same effect, less expenditure. That’s the first (retrograde) step in civilization. Instead of working things out for ourselves we get all the answers from self-help books. That’s how society works. Instead of getting any new ideas yourself you go online like a dumb fool and passively absorb a shit-load of memes. It’s easier. That’s how stuff works these days.
Another example of a cheat would be taking euphoriant drugs like heroin or alcohol. Use heroin responsibly kids, as the man says. Let beer enhance your social life because you know that makes sense. Go and fill your brain with ethanol molecules. Go and drink a bottle of Buckfast in the street with your mates who are dumb just like you and become a happy (or unhappy) moron. Go and drink Coors Light or Budweiser or whatever and don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams. We learn to short-cut the system, we learn how to feel good without having to do anything, without having to do any actual work. It’s no accident that we are an alcohol-based culture – we’ve found ourselves a cheat. It’s not psilocybin mushrooms or peyote we’re interested in after all. Hyperreality – as we’ve been saying – is the ultimate cultural cheat. It’s a second-hand reality, it’s a reality that isn’t actually real. So then the next stage after this is full-scale simulation, as we started off by saying. We boldly go where no man has gone before: we do away with the physical universe. Who needs it anyway? But that’s not the end of it – far from it. After that we move onto the next stage after that which is where we short-circuit the short-circuit, where we find a cheat for the cheat.
All of this is quite inevitable, by the way. It’s simply the deterministic working out of mechanical laws. Or do I mean the mechanical working out of deterministic laws? It all comes to the same thing in the end. The point is that there are always two ways to go – either we put energy into what we’re doing or we look for a cheat. So when we’ve already cheated in the first place by creating the simulation it stands to reason that we’re not going to suddenly reverse our direction and try to build a more complex simulation, to try to design a more nuanced game. No, we’re going to look for an easier way and that easier way is to degrade the awareness of the players so that the game starts to look more interesting than it really is. Sounds familiar, huh? You bet it does. This shit’s been going on a long time. Anyway, the question is, where does all of this go to? That’s the billion dollar question – only it isn’t because money’s only hyperreality. Money isn’t worth a damn. It’s only worth a damn if you’re stupid. Money is only another cheat.
So what happens when you degrade a game? What’s the most degraded game you can play? What’s the least nuanced game? Pretty obviously, it’s a binary flip/flop – will it be plus or will it be minus? Will the coin come down heads or will it be tails? Get your bets ready, folks. It doesn’t get any more basic than this – we’re all watching the coin as it flips, dying to see how it lands. For us, this is the most interesting thing in the world. We’re hooked on it. For us, this is the world. We’re caught in a vibration. We’re obsessed with a vibration and we think that the old vibration is pretty interesting! Watch that vibration vibrate boys. Which way is it going to go? What’s going to happen next? That’s a bit of a cliff-hanger for sure! There’s the good outcome and there’s the bad outcome. There’s winning and there’s losing and yes – you’ve got it – pointless pleasure and pointless pain are going to vibrate back and forth and cancel each other out forever. Kind of like watching Match of the Day.
This is where it all ends – this is the future of gaming. The Big Vibration. Sounds fun, huh? The games aren’t going to get more and more advanced, we’re going to get more and more dumb. We’re going to get as dumb as dumb can be. That’s the cheat – it makes sense to do it that way because there’s less energy expenditure. This then is the future of the human race (if you’re at all interested in knowing, which probably you won’t be) – the answer to the big question is that we’re all going to devolve into a uniform vibration – everything is going to be subsumed within a single generic frequency, all differences lost, all nuances ironed out. Its the blank generic mind. ‘Hey how are you doing buddy?’ says the blank generic mind. ‘How’s YOUR day going?’….
It’s already happening of course. The retrograde, equilibrium-seeking process has already started and we’re all jumping on board for the ride. Why wouldn’t we jump on the bandwagon after all – everyone else is! We don’t know where we’re going but we sure as hell want to get there fast…