This might seem like a follow up to yesterday's blog addressing gun control and video games, but I promise you it's not (at least it's not meant to be). However, I would like to take a moment thanking you all for your support and comments with that piece. Even those who didn't agree responded with professionalism and realness. I'd also like to apologize for this blog being a little out of character, as I don't know if it will relate directly to the subject of video games, something I rarely do. Who knows, maybe I will find a link as we go along (like many of my blogs, this is just free writing and not planned out in advance).

This almost sounds ridiculous as I type it, but I am fascinated by robots and cyborgs (cybernetic organisms - part man, part machine). There are plenty of great movies (and video games) featuring robots and cyborgs including some of my personal favorites - I, Robot, Terminator and Blade Runner.

What all of these movies have in common is their success at developing an emotional attachment to a machine from the audience. You literally become connected to these man-made characters comprised of metal pieces and parts, integrated circuitry and in some instances, a very real looking outer shell resembling a human. You feel bad when something bad happens to them and you feel relieved when they survive, if they survive. Of these movies, I find Blade Runner one of the most fascinating stories.

The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019 in which genetically engineered organic robots called replicants-visually indistinguishable from adult humans-are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other "mega-manufacturers" around the world. Their use on Earth is banned and replicants are exclusively used for dangerous, menial or leisure work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and "retired" by police special operatives known as "Blade Runners". The plot focuses on a brutal and cunning group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt out expert Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down. - Wikipedia

It raises one of my favorite questions to debate...

"If you didn't know you were a robot, would you want me to tell you?"

Today marks the day that I witnessed one of the creepiest "things" I have ever seen in my entire life. And while I'm embarrassed to say my initial thought was this thing resembled something out of Dead Space and needed put out of its misery, I'm not so sure all of you will agree. It did cause me to question,


Is killing artificial intelligence killing?

Robots are nothing new, having existed for decades. They assemble cars in manufacturing plants and take pictures of pretty rocks on the Mars, but progress in creating a lifelike robot has really advanced in recent years, as further demonstrated by this news story I read today about a robot baby that can learn to express human emotion. Check it out here.

Isn't that just the creepiest thing you've ever seen...did they have to make it look like those mutant babies in Dead Space?

So, naturally as I'm reading and watching the video about creepy baby v1.0, I'm only half listening because in my mind I'm envisioning this thing going haywire and grabbing me by the leg while trying to drag me to the ground to finish me off. I think in my brief daydream I grabbed a broom or a mop and beat this thing profusely until it quit moving.

Imagine when more advanced lifelike robots exist - will attacking them be a crime; will killing them be murder?

It's a slippery slope, because on one hand you have a non-living being that was constructed by man, just like a computer or a car is produced... But if we can get emotionally connected to the robots when we watch them in a movie, how much more could we get attached to them if they lived with us or interacted with us on a day to day basis. Perhaps it's not a question of legality, but morality - would it be morally wrong to kill a machine that is capable of thought or emotion? Will such technology ever exist?

As gamers, we've been eliminating digital representations of artificial intelligence for decades without remorse or feeling like we've committed a crime, but how does this thought process change when it's a physical being staring you it any different? I have to admit, I don't know why but when I play video games, I tend to stray away from unnecessary killing and feel guilty if and when I do. Sometimes it's so bad I don't even like killing the livestock in Minecraft.

Anyway, I know this is kind of short, but I wanted to share this and get some thoughts on the topic of robots, because I have another blog lined up for tomorrow in line with this theme, only that one will reference video games. Now I'm off to bed, and will probably have nightmares of that creepy baby.