Games blur thin line between fantasy and reality

Posted by David Konow

We recently ran a report here on TG that detailed why gaming may one day be "indistinguishable from reality."

Being that I like old school gaming graphics, no matter how primitive they are, I’ve stated my case before that ultra realism in gaming may not be such a great thing for several reasons, including my theory that if games become as realistic as life, we won’t be able to escape into the fantasy world of a game. On the other end of the spectrum, what if the games we’ve been playing actually became reality?

Games blur thin line between fantasy and reality

This concept was recently explored by L.A. Weekly, and the opening line of the story reinforced my point, "If you’re like me, you play video games to escape from real life." Then the writer, who calls himself Jef With One F, pointed out examples of gaming coming true in real life. The first example? Google is turning into Shinra, the evil corporation from Final Fantasy VII.

In the game, Shinra sucked energy out of the planet until they were the only ones who could supply the world with power. Google’s now getting into the energy business as well, and have sunk close to a billion into finding new forms of renewable energy. What’s the problem, right? It’s a good thing, no? Then again, as Weekly notes, “We wouldn’t want our power supply to be dominated by a company that essentially already knows every single move you make online.”

Other examples Weekly brought up included Homefront predicting Kim Jong-il’s death. "The game takes place in March 2013, and states that Kim Jong-un had succeeded his father a year earlier. That means that THQ missed the actual date by mere months."

On a funnier note, Jef With One F also pointed out another example, a flaming lemon weapon in Portal 2, created by mad scientist Cave Johnson. Apparently there’s now a company called Spud Gun Tech, which can launch a flaming lemon at someone, or whatever other produce weapons you want to dispatch the enemy.

As we’ve pointed out before, science fiction works really well if it’s somewhat prophetic, but it’s not a requirement for gaming. These things are definitely ironic, purely coincidental, and funny when you think about them, but I don’t know if gaming will ever have the ironic impact a good futuristic story has, where an insane fictional event one day comes to pass.