Saturday, August 08, 2009

MMORPG and the Slaughter of the Innocents

A movie titled Second Skin was just made free viewing. It's worth the time to view it.

As the author of the first (1974) Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) virtual reality game, I claim at least pundit-rights on the MMO "community" documented by this film:

A comment was made during the course of the film by one of the interviewees that MMO "addiction" is a legitimate diagnosis only if we ignore the fact that huge portions of humanity are unhappy with reality. This was the strongest point in the film. But its weakness is that these addicts represent not merely the "discontents of civilization", as Freud would have us believe, but entire demographies suffering genocide at its hands.

To many, this is merely natural selection in action. However, if we are to admit "disparate impact" of our public policies in civil rights matters, how can we ignore the fact that these policies are having a "disparate impact", not simply on the happiness, but on the very existence of entire demographies? And in the face of such brute ignorance in high places, how can we expect those so disparately impacted to react?

If I have a sense of guilt about having participated in the creation of the virtual worlds into which people escape from genocide that they themselves are coerced by the zeitgeist to deny, it is the guilt that a supplier of morphine might have on, not the field of battle, but in a world built on the slaughter of the innocents.