Game Design Sketchbook: Immortality

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Game Design Sketchbook: Immortality

With Immortality, Jason Rohrer questions our feelings about life and death. Is immortality good? Is death bad? If you could become immortal, would you?

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I wouldn't take individual immortality, maybe I'd take it if it were for me and a few selected people.

Death is an efficient method of recycling the resources tied up inside a body... I guess that's a good thing. The whole death/rebirth cycle.

It would be nice if it was more of an opt-in process though.

I would gladly take it, at least initially. How else would you experience all you ever wanted? One lifetime is too short. Of course, I'm sure the ennui would kick in eventually, and then there would be no way out.

The problem with Imortality (I think of it in Highlander terms), is that you don;t die, while everyone else does. Now, If it was indeed the Highlander Imortaility, with the whole "Lose your head, lose your life," thing, I think I'd take it. Just not ther whole "There can only be one" thing.

Personally, I will live forever. Technically *according to Christianity at least* we all live on in some way, shape, or form. Hell even of you don't believe you will live on, you still survive in the memories of your loved ones and children. Your genetic material and genes will be passed to the next generations for as long as people exist.

So be it through God, or through my descendants I will always live on. So I guess immortality is overrated.

I don't think I would take it. If I did not age and everyone around me did I wouldn't be able to live a normal life. I can't imagine my wife being 80 and me still looking 20. Then having to watch my children and grandchildren die before me? I don't think I could do it.

Usige Beatha:
Personally, I will live forever. Technically *according to Christianity at least* we all live on in some way, shape, or form. Hell even of you don't believe you will live on, you still survive in the memories of your loved ones and children. Your genetic material and genes will be passed to the next generations for as long as people exist.

So be it through God, or through my descendants I will always live on. So I guess immortality is overrated.

Good luck on the whole Jesus thing. Let me know how that works out for you. Also, you don't live on through your descendants. I hate that cliche. They go on. You stop. Spreading your DNA is wonderful (and fun) while alive, but totally irrelevant when you're dead and smelly.

UpInSmoke:

Usige Beatha:
Personally, I will live forever. Technically *according to Christianity at least* we all live on in some way, shape, or form. Hell even of you don't believe you will live on, you still survive in the memories of your loved ones and children. Your genetic material and genes will be passed to the next generations for as long as people exist.

So be it through God, or through my descendants I will always live on. So I guess immortality is overrated.

Good luck on the whole Jesus thing. Let me know how that works out for you. Also, you don't live on through your descendants. I hate that cliche. They go on. You stop. Spreading your DNA is wonderful (and fun) while alive, but totally irrelevant when you're dead and smelly.

Well aren't you a pessimist.

Comrade, nothing just stops. Even if our souls die with the body then the nutrients that made up our body are absorbed by the soil, we're used by plants who are eaten by animals which are eaten by other animals and eventually humans perhaps. But the fact is the stuff we are made of will ALWAYS go on.

I take comfort in that thought so I don't need immortality.

Usige Beatha:

UpInSmoke:

Usige Beatha:
Personally, I will live forever. Technically *according to Christianity at least* we all live on in some way, shape, or form. Hell even of you don't believe you will live on, you still survive in the memories of your loved ones and children. Your genetic material and genes will be passed to the next generations for as long as people exist.

So be it through God, or through my descendants I will always live on. So I guess immortality is overrated.

Good luck on the whole Jesus thing. Let me know how that works out for you. Also, you don't live on through your descendants. I hate that cliche. They go on. You stop. Spreading your DNA is wonderful (and fun) while alive, but totally irrelevant when you're dead and smelly.

Well aren't you a pessimist.

Comrade, nothing just stops. Even if our souls die with the body then the nutrients that made up our body are absorbed by the soil, we're used by plants who are eaten by animals which are eaten by other animals and eventually humans perhaps. But the fact is the stuff we are made of will ALWAYS go on.

I take comfort in that thought so I don't need immortality.

If you can take comfort from the thought of losing consciousness permanently and turning into dirt, then more power to you my good man. If I'm a pessimist, you're a dreamer.

I've often thought it through. I know that in the end, at some point, even if it's just when humanity is destroyed or evolved beyond you, you'd get sick of it. But that said, I'd still go for it, even though i'm sure I'd regret it eventually. The prospect of being able to see the future, to do everything I've ever wanted is too appealing.

Immortality as in "eternal youth and health"? Sign me up. Hell, there's no choice that needs to be made. It'd be a bit of a bastard if it meant you still aged and fell sick, though. Imagine being the first person to develop a fatal illness at the ripe old age of 2,407 - looking every bit your age - and having to suffer through every agonising second of it, bound to life like a slave.

I wouldn't become immortal even if they offered me staggering piles of money for it.
Unlike most people I look forward to death rather than fear it. I want to know what happens when I die, most likely my brain will stop functioning and I will simply cease to exist but there's always hoping it'll be something fun. Personally I believe the soul fad to be a bunch of lies created to calm down family and friends of diseased humans or close animals; family dog etc.

And no, I'm neither depressive nor wrist-slitting, I've just got the curiosity to kill a big-ass mountain of cats.

UpInSmoke:

If you can take comfort from the thought of losing consciousness permanently and turning into dirt, then more power to you my good man. If I'm a pessimist, you're a dreamer.

When Science can actually define consciousness, then they can disprove reincarnation; until then, I'm coming back as a shrubbery.

Immortality's over-rated though. Imagine infinite Monday's...urgh.

I don't want to stop your fine discussion, but I seriously have a problem with the article. Fine article, by the way, it's just that I download the game, unzip it, and what do I find, it's a exe. I'm on a mac, people, and I'm bummed. Not because its an exe, that I'm ok with, I can just skip playing the game, it's just that nowhere in the article is it said it's Windows only. Could the article just at least say, oh, people, by the by, it's Windows only.

I like the idea of immortality.

And its not a knee jerk reaction, i've put a damn big chunk of thought into this.

I would take it. or at least agelessness. immortalty would feel too much like a real life god mode cheat =D

And agelessness gives an opt-out option too.

If people didnt die, the earth would become so overpopulated, the earth's resourses would dissapear almost instantly, causing universal drought, and brining the apocolypse. Also you have to question what happens when every dream you've ever had is fulfilled. Death serves an important role in every life, plus the fact that I would just be used as a tool for war or something. If you can't die, everything is pointless! What if youre stressed? what if the end of the world happens, and youre left on an atmosphere free bit of burnt rock? It just doesnt seem worth it to me.

Why would we care about drought, or running out of resources, as immortals, we need neither eat nor drink, and we can launch ourselves through space without fear of dying.

Of course, I'm thinking of the glorious immortal bodies of the resurrection, as described in the bible. Any other sort of immortality would hardly be worthwhile.

image
image

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

BobisOnlyBob:
image
image

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

lolol. Nice! XD

I started, but got bored =B

Immortality? I'd take it.
Nice game, just found the block swapping/movement to arrange them annoying/time consuming. They guy above must have played for a pretty long time.. ^-^

It made me wonder what those plants growing would do/become, but it seems nothing I guess?

UpInSmoke - cudos

Usige Beatha - say hello to Jesus for me

`kormyen

lol I'm not too interested in Jesus. More so in my Ancestors, THEY were an interesting lot lol.

I guess one way to look at it is that Immortality is not necessarily something we Humans can have, but not necessarily something we are denied.

I wouldn't accept Eternal life but I might accept Eternal youth.

Good point but I am assuming the the pill in this example would freeze your age. But yes, I would take the people assuming I could stay at my current age but preferably 30. That's age to ride eternity through. Young enough to be vital but old enough not to be taken lightly.

Honestly, I think your wife is wrong for two main reasons. One, boredom is for the unimaginative. Let's face it, there is plenty in the world as it is to amuse for a long time and its always changing. One individual is too finite if without death to exhaust the worlds beauty, spectacle, etc. Two, just because you become immortal doesn't mean forever memory. Keep in mind your brain can only hold so many memories and memories overtime fade to make room for new associations. So if you were immortal, with your current wetware, overtime you would forget. Whether that would be 300, 500 or 1000 years of memory who knows but there is no way your brain could keep all of those memories. So with enough time, what was old would become new again.

As for the whole Highlander argument. Yes, there would be pain in losing mortal loved ones but let's face it, a life without a pain is not a life worth living anyway. Or the flip side is, do you really want to spend eternity with anyone? I mean, Angelina is hot but after 500 years, you would be begging for single status from anyone.

what happens if I get sentenced to life in prison while immortal? Or "Lethal" injection? I bet that would suck.

What is the point of that game?

Interesting. But what is beyond the stars? I've gotten as high as the other guy and I'm kinda curious if the sky turns all the way black, or every thousand blocks we get a picture of boobies or what.

No seriously, it is an interesting concept game. No point, just as there is no point to life, except to experience the message. This is why escapist > ign. I come here for a completely different type of gaming journalism, and I get it.

The problem I have with this game is the same problem that I have with people saying immortality would be boring. Yes, an infinity of nothing but a flat plain and movable blocks would be boring...but that's not where we live. There is ALWAYS something new and fascinating to see, because the universe is a place that changes.

I plan on not dying through sheer force of will. That way, once I do everything I want to, or when I become bored with the whole "living forever" thing, I can change my mind and die.

That's the kind of immortality I want, one in which I get to choose if and when it ends.

BobisOnlyBob:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

You're missing the ending:
"'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing else remains."

Kind of ruins the mood though, eh?

Calobi:

BobisOnlyBob:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"

You're missing the ending:
"'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing else remains."

Kind of ruins the mood though, eh?

'twas deliberate. I figured the ending was implied, and thus, my opinion on immortality. Yes, using the 5 minutes I was given, I immediately went for the immortality pill... and then I sought purpose, gave myself a goal, and accomplished it. Sure, even if nothing remains... I believe in the eventual heat-death of the universe. Nothing will remain. Only energy, ready to restart, with no memory of what passed before.
Just as my 25-story high tower (that's 75 blocks) no longer exists other than as image files and memory, it will eventually be forgotten, deleted, and gone. Immortality is just an extension of your existing life; there is no true immortality. And as long as I have something to aspire towards, something to do, something to use, I will keep building my towers.

Immortality is good. Just a few more seconds on the clock, in perspective. And couldn't we all use a little extra time?

immortality isnt going to do anybody any good until people are more open minded, death is pretty much the only thing that helps society evolve, old ideas have to die out.

assuming everyone can live happily with one another and we genuinely achieve a utopia, I dont see any problem with or without immortality, I'm sure the problem would be irrelevant in that case anyway.

anyhoo, as for the game, it was an interesting idea, but if I had a walk cycle like that in real life I'd consider the scuicide box much faster =p

BobisOnlyBob:
'twas deliberate. I figured the ending was implied, and thus, my opinion on immortality. Yes, using the 5 minutes I was given, I immediately went for the immortality pill... and then I sought purpose, gave myself a goal, and accomplished it. Sure, even if nothing remains... I believe in the eventual heat-death of the universe. Nothing will remain. Only energy, ready to restart, with no memory of what passed before.
Just as my 25-story high tower (that's 75 blocks) no longer exists other than as image files and memory, it will eventually be forgotten, deleted, and gone. Immortality is just an extension of your existing life; there is no true immortality. And as long as I have something to aspire towards, something to do, something to use, I will keep building my towers.

Immortality is good. Just a few more seconds on the clock, in perspective. And couldn't we all use a little extra time?

Exactly! lol ^-^

`kormyen

What about millions of years from now when the earth is destroyed and you're just drifting in space?
Also you can't live on through your decedents if they die before reproducing.

I would, without question, choose immortality. Seeing my friends and family and everything I love wither and die would be just fine. I can get more things or people, but I can't get more "get" (without immortality ^^)

Well what kind of immorality are we talking about? One where you justcan't die fo old age, or you can not eat or drink or breath for a year and still run a marathon?

I mean to be truly immortal, you would be able to have a nuke dropped on you or being fired into teh sun or able to sit through a slim shady 'gig' and still be happy to go to the local pub for a pint!

Slim it down for us!

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