I recently had a revelation about how human life on this planet is going to end: we’re either going to destroy each other, fight a losing battle against machines, or the aliens will wipe us out because they’ve been watching us and have lost their hope in humanity ever becoming a force of good on this planet.
At the same time, I had a revelation about how we’re going to perpetually last on this planet: by creating abundance in society and to stop competing for resources.
The idea of a resource based economy is very interesting. I don’t know much about it, but it basically says that there really isn’t a need for us to fight over resources if there’s an abundance of it, and yes, it is possible to create abundance.
Through leveraging technology, we’re able to create structures which can house overgrowing populations and at the same time provide food, water and clean energy for them. Through building up, we create living/farming space out of thin air and leave more of the land for recreation and nature. To create a brighter future tomorrow and for generations to come, we have to work on implementing systems which are self-sustainable today. The notion of balancing people, planet and profit is what’s necessary for any system to survive its creators long after they are gone.
I believe that my interest in Urban Farming is no coincidence. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe everything happens for a reason. I see my path set before me, and all I have to do is connect the dots; to be proactive within my initiatives and to build towards what I believe is a better future. Already, things are starting to change around me. I’ve never felt so much love and positive energy as I do today. For the first time in a long time, I truly feel free. I’m starting to realize how the people around me interact with my reality, and can help me towards achieving my goals. I partly learned this playing video games.
I’ve recently bought Mass Effect 2: it’s a 3rd person shooter/RPG (role playing game) in which you take the role of Commander Shephard… which also made me think of the role of a shepherd and a quote from the bible I learned watching Quentin Tarantino’s Pulpfiction:
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.”
There’s many ways to interpret that quote, but you gotta ask yourself: are you the shepherd? Or are you the selfish and the tyranny of evil men? To every Yin there’s a Yang, but you better think carefully about which side you’re standing on. Through playing Mass Effect you’re ‘forced’ to kill a lot of beings. You’re not really forced though, because you can choose to put down the controller and stop playing the game at any time, but then there wouldn’t be a game. (I borrowed this idea from playing Spec Ops: The Line as well). The real commander Shephard is standing behind the screen, holding the controller. The real people you team up with to make an expeditionary squad are the people around you: your friends and family. Standing behind the screen is you in a real life RPG and every decision you make is rippling through the universe.
In the game, you are part of an organization called Cerberus. Cerberus is a human-survivalist paramilitary group led by the enigmatic Illusive Man. Cerberus’ core belief is that humans deserve a greater role in the galactic community, and that the Systems Alliance is too hamstrung by law and public opinion to stand up effectively to the other Citadel races. Cerberus supports the principle that any methods of advancing humanity’s ascension are entirely justified, including illegal or dangerous experimentation, terrorist activities, sabotage and assassination. Cerberus operatives accept that these methods are brutal, but believe history will vindicate them. Nevertheless, both the Systems Alliance and the Citadel Council have declared Cerberus to be a terrorist organization and will prosecute identified Cerberus agents accordingly. (http://masseffect.wikia.com)
There’s many interesting symbols here.
The name of the organization itself comes from a multi-headed (usually three-headed) dog, or “hellhound” which guards the gates of the Underworld in Greek mythology. Cerberus makes sure that anyone that goes to hell stays in it… which is basically what the organization does in the game, as the more objectives you complete, the deeper you’ve gone into hell and as long as you’re with the organization, you’re going to kill more beings. Also, Cerberus more or less created you which literally makes you a “son of a bitch”.
Another interesting thing is that they refer to the Illusive Man as the person who gives you objectives for the organization. The Illusive Man is nothing more than that… he is illusive, and possibly created by the mind of Commander Shephard in order to justify all the killing he does. Again this similar idea rises from the Konrad character in Spec Ops: The Line whose idea came from the book ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad.
The description of Cerberus in the end is then nothing more than a ‘terrorist organization’ which is exactly what you are: a terrorist, raking destruction across the galaxy. How the story ends is the probably the same way as the story begins: you’re destroyed, then put back together with your memory erased (or not, depending if you played the other games) being born again as a new Commander Shephard. This also made me think a lot about the idea of reincarnation, and on the other hand, humans having the ability to live forever through leveraging technology. What if you actually did live forever through soul transfer from your body to other beings on the planet? How would that change the way you’d behave in the world? Wouldn’t it make sense to create a better world for the generations of beings to come?
After my realization of what I was doing, I’ve stopped playing any kind of shooter games. I’m done killing things in the virtual world because what if in some parallel universe this is really happening? My next game will be Anno 2070 which is a game about building a future city which gives you the possibility to build a city as either of two factions: the Eden Initiative (referred to as the “Ecos”) or the Global Trust (referred to as the “Tycoons”) . There’s also a support organization called the S.A.A.T. (referred to as the “Techs”). Ecos are environmental and build sustainable cities, but are inefficient and slow to expand. Tycoons are industrious and expand quickly, but have problems with pollution and dwindling resources. The Tech is a support faction available to the other two, and they are useful in researching the latest and most powerful technologies. There’s no doubt about which faction I’m going to play and I believe there’s a lot to learn from these kind of simulations. Gaming will never stop for me, but the type of games I play will definitely change. Not only do games help me define reality… it helps me to create it as well, and I hope that they will continue to inspire me on my journey.