I weep for the future of mankind. These tears are not born from concerns over global warming, killer asteroids, or nuclear despotism. My pain comes from the knowledge that, someday, gamers will inherit the Earth. Did I say inherit? Sorry, I meant conquer. Someday the coin of the realm will have the words “Play2Crush” in place of the familiar “E Pluribus Unum.” And as much as I am distressed by this thought, I am at the same time fascinated by it, and dare I say, almost looking forward to it.
I find myself anticipating it because it will usher in a new era for humanity. The humans who evolve from the environmental conditioning of games will think and move faster than those unfortunate not to have been forged by generations of gaming legacy. Already, in my own offspring, I see examples of the next generation overtaking my abilities I thought were honed razor sharp. I see this not as an isolated case, but rather the normal state in thousands upon thousands of households around the world.
There are those who refuse to see the direction of the next stage of evolution for our species. The ones who try to legislate against this evolution, those who dismiss outright humanity’s progression as not the real issue, are the very ones who will bring about their own destruction. The sad fact is, the more the gamer sub-species is challenged by its environment, the stronger it will become. This is a Darwinian struggle, with a rule set written by Nietzsche. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and we have learned nothing from the example of Prohibition in the 1920’s. When laws are passed against videogames, those who played them are just going to grow up and repeal the laws. This revisionist action may be the catalyst. Gamers will realize they have the power to change the past, and with that power will come the ability to pwn the future.
The gamers will embrace their destiny as the dominant life form on the planet, and begin to actually dominate. Social practices seen only in smaller scale with Guilds and Clans will be applied to the masses. Those who are not willing to be assimilated will be cast out. LiveJournal Bloggers will be herded up and sent to live in “re-education” camps where they will be forced to perform slave labor to ensure the New World Order. Political systems around the world will change drastically. We will see exchanges on the floor of the Senate that consist of nothing more than, “You suck,” “No, you suck.”
Wars will be fought without a single drop of blood being spilled, as the United Nations will hold million-player, single elimination LAN tournaments to settle disputes between sovereign countries. The Blogger slave-race will manufacture hardware to ensure that the Digital Forces of its side has the best equipment. The arms race will be measured in megahertz, not megatons. Vast amounts of resources and man hours will be dedicated to perpetuating the Gamers’ ability to do nothing but game, in defense of their 127.0.0.1.
Eventually, the UN will see that most of the disputes are caused by the Mutually Assured Obsolescence mentality, and declare the nations of the world are truly united. Under one console, under one platform, the next stage of the evolution of the Gamer super-race will begin. It will be determined that an expansion is needed, and to a Gamer, this means new content, a newer version. The search for Earth 2.0: A Call to Conquer will begin.
Advancements in science and technology will actually allow the Gamer Race to take their true form, beings of pure energy. They will be able to travel across vast distances of space with the power of thought. With this, the final chapter for humanity will open. Free from the bonds of normal existence, the Gamer Race abandons Earth, Bloggers, and all those unfortunate enough to have not joined a guild during the first week of the Great Gaming Revolution. Left without a purpose, the descendants of LiveJournalists will go back to the ancient ritual of Blogging, and non-gamers will gravitate toward everyday, mundane endeavors, like hunting for food and gathering resources. Devoid of its best and brightest, the Human Race will fall into a second Dark Age. And somewhere in the Cosmos, a voice will echo across the nether, “GG, NM?”
A bleak vision of the future? Perhaps, but the first series of long-term research into games’ affect on people is starting to show gamers to have higher IQ’s, faster reflexes, better hand-eye coordination, superior problem-solving skills, and the ability to multi-task on a larger scale. A generation has been born and raised with gaming available in several forms. From arcades, to living rooms, to where ever you can hold an object the size of a bar of soap in your hands, gamers are quietly fine-tuning their skills everywhere. Over hundreds and thousands of years of human evolution, it has been those who dared to dream who have set the course for us as a species. Did not DaVinci inspire men to build flying machines? Did not Verne inspire men to travel to incredible depths and set foot on the moon?
I say that somewhere, there is a child who will someday invent a plasma-cannon, a time machine, a matter transporter, and a universal med pack which will instantly heal all wounds, and cure all diseases. He will do it because someone with the almost god-like title of “Game Designer” dared to dream, and because the child was inspired and asked the question, “Wouldn’t that be cool if we really had those?” That child, and many others like him, will truly conquer the world, for they are destined to become our leaders, our great thinkers, our best and brightest.
pwn: variation of “own” based on a common typo from proximity of o and p keys.
own: a term used to describe a completely dominating victory over another player. “You lost in less than 5 minutes, and only had 1 unit left. I owned you.”
127.0.0.1 – a networking term to describe the IP of the machine at which you are located. Known as the local or home address.
GG, NM: Internet shorthand for “Good game, new map?” Usually said at the end of multi-player first person shooter matches, or after a Real Time Strategy contest.