The future is here, we can feel through bionics

I have a tag ”future” but it only has so many posts. Actually, I thing it only has or three. The reason why I essentially stopped writing them was because they became largely irrelevant to the blog, and that they took very large amount of work compared to the length or content. The time could be spent better on more relevant topics.

However, for whatever reason the (still) upcoming Muv-Luv Kickstarter made me read about bionics. I looked up if there was any recent news on latest developments in artificial limbs and other body parts, and it turns out that a man can now feel through his prosthetic hand thanks to technology developed by none other than DARPA.

While we have always had artificial limbs in science fiction to some extent, most of them have been relatively same in idea. Generally speaking, if an arm has been amputated below the elbow all it really needs is a vessel where to house the mechanics. This housing is of course fastened to the arm in a way or another. With modern composite materials, the prosthetics can be relatively light, or comparatively extremely light in comparison full metal housing. Depending how much arm there is left, the housing can be fasted just over the stump and have the rest go up to the elbow.

The bebionic hand is a forerunner in the overall organic design of prosthetic hands. Its overall design is highly impressive. The bebionic hand is controlled by two muscles of the arm it’s installed in, and you are able to change between preset utility settings ranging from grabbing a key or having a trigger finger. Between some settings there is a need to manually change or active some of the settings, but that’s simply due to lack of direct motor control with the bebionic hand. That’s an inherent problem with artificial limbs overall, the lack of direct input we have naturally in our nervous system.

However, back in February doctors performed the world’s first bionic hand reconstruction, where they took what looks like a variation of the bebionic hand and crafted it’s receivers directly to the artificial hand. Essentially, the signals coming from the patient translates directly into mechantronic hand function.

A harder thing is to replace a whole arm. However, even that has been made. Essentially, a man without an arm would wear a harness that would read the muscle signals from the electronics on the subject’s upper body and translate those in to the functions of the limb. Controlling an artificial hand at first must be hell to learn at first, but to re-learn how to use a whole arm must be a special kind of challenge that may break the weak.

Ultimately, an artificial limb really needs a harness to which it is attached to and some sort of casting to make it look nice. You can even 3D print your own if you feel like it.

Depending the kind of fiction you’re interested in, artificial limbs may remind you of the real deal. On the other hand, you’ve most likely seen the idea of crafting some sort of metallic socket to the subject and then have him change between arms, or have one, massively bulky arm in there. Cyberpunk most often uses artificial limbs like candy, where you can just shop from the shelf and have them fit to you almost however you want, especially in games.

Fictional design also emphasizes the completely absurd and unnecessary lines on the skin, markings, and attachments simply are thrown there without much thinking how they actually work with the anatomy. This is understandable, seeing how they emphasize on the visual side rather than functionality. Concentrating on visuals is completely acceptable as long as realism isn’t a concern to some extent, or at least as long as it follows common logic within the work itself. In a cartoon world with cartoon logic it’s acceptable to have whatever kind of big and bulky arms or legs you want. Outside cartoon logic, with each step with technology there’s very little reason to stick with old designs.

Here’s the problem with that previous statement; long running franchises have a well defined style in how they portray the visuals of their technology, and suddenly just changing these pre-established visuals would be very jarring and cause a clash. On the other hand, the change in visual tone can also be explained with the evolution of in-universe technology.

Each product is of course a reflection of its time. With the Internet in our hands, we’re not slaves just to guessing how things look or have to use outdated books in the library.

How would a modern artificial arm look in modern science fiction then? Well, the answer is that it would look much like how bebionic hand would look, just with slightly smoother action and would use direct input from the user. Even when low level technology would be present in sci-fi they would look and function much like the bebionic hand, because it’s one of the forerunners at this moment with its competitors like the Azzurra Hand may be cutting edge technology at this moment, but whenever the bionics become more common place and cheaper to produce, the cutting edge technology of future will be much more what we have now in the present day and age.

Of course, the idea of bolting an artificial limb to a human body isn’t dead. While it is technically possible in theory, there are difficulties that need to be overcome. For one, the weight of the prosthetics needs to be around as much or lighter than what the actual limb was. If it’s too heavy, it would simply plop off from its socket. The redesigned Bionic Commando prosthetic is an example of a design that in the real world is just far too overdone in every way, but that’s the least of the game’s problems. I remember Masamune Shirow showcasing this in some of his comic, I can’t recall if its was in Ghost in the Shell or Appleseed. The attachment itself is an issue too. It would need to be attached to the bone structure and supported by the musculature if possible. This opens a point how much a bionics should resemble the limbs they’re replacing.

In reality, it doesn’t have any reason why it should. It can just be few pipes with joints and electronics inside. It is more a psychological issues, where more natural looking replacement helps the user to get accustomed to it, plus it would attract less attention. Using musculature as the basis how the bionics would look like has been very popular for the last few decades now. Complicating a functioning design with unnecessarily complex elements, even in fiction, is redundant. Sure it would look neat and emulate human biology, but without a heavy reason this should be avoided. On the other hand, it’s pretty damn popular simply because it looks cool. They’ve actually developed one, but as you can see the tubing does extent over the chest of the unit. It’s a novel approach, but in the a questionable one.

Power supply is a question that full arm prosthetics can’t solve all too well. For the bionic hand the power battery can be relatively small, but a whole arm would need more juice. That said, the harness to which the arm would be attached to should have enough places to have a hanging battery pack. Batteries haven’t had a major breakthrough for some time, and as such the most complex replacements have been tested in laboratory environment only.

The last thing is that I want to shine light on is the contact point between the skin and the craft. Recently the Australian doctors made a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib cage for a patient. The surface was sandblasted in order to secure the replacement that will allow human biology to latch and attach itself to the surface and grow on it, much like on real bone. Similarly, we can see that if the craft would be attached to a human body for bionics socket, it would need to be attached to the bone structure in similar manner. The socket then could be moved with muscles, thou that is rather needless unless we were to aim to emulate human biology. Nevertheless, the problem that would still arise is at the contact point. The skin and the metal may rub against each other, irritating the skin and causing problems with it. That’s why you always see a layer of another material used in real life prosthetics to prevent chafing.

While we are living in the high tech future, we’re still missing hover cars and widespread artificial limbs. Who knows what will happen in ten or fifteen years, but it’ll be one helluva time to get there.

Digital luddites

Whenever I complain something about modern things, I notice how I’ve grown more and more old fashioned and conservative to the extent that I give my bias to shine through without any reservations. One of these things, to some extent, is the excessive use CGI TV and film. I prefer the practical effects and every explosion that’s on the screen needs to have been there in physical form, not as something added digitally in. Same with animation, where majority of the modern animations are just 3D models being played on the screen like bunch of puppets.

However, I was taken back as I realized how little there is actual appreciation for the modern in the communities and circles I usually roll in. The aforementioned example use of 3D is one of them. Sure, the likes of Toy Story and Frozen get good comments them in being completely animated in 3D, but then when 2D and 3D are mixed there seems to be people rising on the barricades. Giant robot animation is a very good example of this, as more and more companies have moved to animate their detailed and complex with 3D models rather than animate them by the traditional methods, even thou nowadays these are rotorscoped on top of 3D models already. The pros of this is extremely consistent footage and constant quality in contrast to 2D animation. This divides people, as there are so many of those who see this a plague killing their favourite high-budgeted hand animated series. The fact in this that they’re already dead and there’s no reason to hate the 3D taking 2D’s place. We’re at a point where the old is being replaced with something new ,and to some extent is already dead and replaced as cel animation died in the early 2000’s. Embracing the new way of doing things with more detail and smoothness with less expenses is hard when you’re grown up the multilevel-shaded hand drawn animation, but without doing so the new can’t flourish.

I wonder when it began. It is hard for me to pinpoint the time when popular culture had a paradigm shift, where the new was considered inferior to old, and old was put on a pedestal over all else and claimed to be superior. That has lead us to have all these remakes, reboots and sequels during the 00’s, so we can make an educated guess that it was during the 90’s where this shift took place. Before that all kinds of new stuff was not just accepted with excitement, but also embraced and taken to a next step level as the fans wanted to see all these new things grow and flourish. Nowadays it seems all the next steps are met with highly negative criticism and wishes to return to the old. Yet, we can’t return to old all the time, we can’t repeat same things in almost same form time after time nor we can have anything new if we can’t move onwards from the old ways.

I am contradicting myself philosophically here, as you’ve most likely noticed. As someone who wishes to work in traditional means is in a world where traditional means have almost completely replaced with something new and more efficient, and I can testify that to some extent it scares me. I may say that The old way is more efficient or whatever you usually hear, but the truth is that it is outside my comfort zone and the things I personally value and have positive stance on. This has changed with the first half of the year as you’ve read, and I have no doubts most digital luddites feel the similarly. All I can say that this is a point where we need to recognize the point of growing up and accept the facts that are there. I don’t think for a minute for it being easy, but a man’s gotta do what man’s gotta do.

Which is not burn the factory.

There is some basis in resisting modern contraptions to an extent in certain fields. For example, it can be argued that pretty much all low budget films that they should not be on high definition as it shows, quite practically, everything in high detail. For example, you can see all the maskings in Friday the 13th Blue-Rei and by all means see how fake everything is. This doesn’t happen with older medias like VHS and LaserDisc, and DVD seems to be in a sort of middleground depending on the release. This can be understood, as most older materials are not meant to be seen to that detail and are designed to be seen on film from a projector or on CRT TV from a cassette.

However, it doesn’t take out the point that these formats also demand higher accuracy and craftsmanship from the modern film makers and does no invalidate how older movies are seen on the screen. Much like one can take the luddite attitude, one could take a stance of wanting to enjoy all the details that they were able to put in making the movie and see all the details no matter how low-budget or not. A well done movie is a well done movie even if low budget after all. I guess viewers can be taken out of the movie and lose their immersion if they latch on issues in the movie. Then again, most people start latching on negative issues with movies when they turn for the boring. Then again, we are taught to be analytical on pretty much anything we come across today. We lose that child like wonder on things, the enjoyment for the sake of enjoyment disregarding the technical quality. I’m generalising this a bit too much, but the point should come across.

Of course, not all new things are good or better than old ones. Nevertheless, disallowing growth of the new will be a disservice on the long run, as all things are made to be replaced and made obsolete. I will always encourage the advancements that might make my work easier, even thou I would deeply hate them.

The times we live in

Before I asked about what period of art we live at the moment, I should have just stopped there and do the thing I do (almost) the best; analyse. No wonder I have hard time to get an answer from art teachers and other experts; they’re too close. So, let’s take a lean back and look things from a wider perspective.

One thing that illustrates our time is that anyone can be considered as an artist and anyone can have their art out there. No longer is art made with age old time tested methods as it has been for some thousands of years as it has been digitalized. Our canvas is now the computer screen and our only tool is the mouse. Gentlemen, we live in the early days of Digital Art. Some of you might wonder where I pulled this from. Some of you already know where I’m going with this just by putting those words into form.

The birth of digital art can be traced to the 70’s when computers began to find their way to general population in form of few arcade machines and game consoles. As computing power grew and software engineering became more sophisticated, the visual look of the user interfaces began to allow pictorial representations of real life art. Pixel art, as we understand nowadays, was born within this early period, and it evolved at an astonishing rate. From suprematismic dots and characters we found ourselves looking at more abstract shapes and surreal representations of real world. In the 80’s pixel art had evolved with the hardware to similar level of fine arts, thou resolution was a big factor holding details back. Even then, somewhere around the end of the 80’s, we had people working with Amigas making pure digital art.

The 80’s also saw the birth of the Internet. BBS’ were filled with ASCII art as modern WWW system was under development. The 90’s were the time when WWW as we mostly use it with Internet browsers was born. This opened doors for total globalization, and at this point we need to regard the Internet as one huge stage, not limited by boundaries or nationalities.

The 90’s saw further standardization of PCs with few exceptions, which meant that technology could now unify large amounts of tools and resources under one or two general flags, mainly Windows and Apple’s Macintosh. Drawing tablets began to appear more in the general households and more advanced and easier to understand art programs were developed. The Internet opened a new possibility to showcase your art to the general public without much hassle. As the Internet grew larger towards the end of the 90’s, we saw the birth of Deviant Art in 2000.

The 2000’s has transformed how Internet works. Lost is the nostalgic sound of screeching modems and awesomely horrible mid-90’s web page design (thou some still survive.) Resolution has made pixel count nearly meaningless and technology almost allows us to draw whatever we want with our tablets, that now cost as little as 50€ or less. 100×100 picture might’ve been regarded as decent, now it’s common to see images with 5000×8000 resolution. We have image sizes that are larger than the hard drives of the time. It’s completely insane when you start comparing that you could put all of Atari 5200 into one image size-wise. The biggest thing is that everybody with a computer now can make art and review art. Art has become a common commodity. This doesn’t only apply to visual arts, but music and everything else as well. We could say that we are living in the early halcyon days of the Digital Arts in general.

The Internet has caused a massive flood in art, and the thinking of Everybody and everything can be art has been solidified in a completely different way that it used to be. Art has moved from being something that only certain people do to what everybody can do. DevArt users are instantly labelled as artists, thou the site is infamous on the quality of art it holds [and idiots. Subjective opinion.Editor] While the traditional fine arts are alive and kicking, the digital arts have become massively popular. We can find a twenty year old person doing insane digital paintings that rival any of the classical masterpieces. It seems that as art has become a commodity, the need for masters has been removed. We have no longer use for people like Da Vinci now that we can find similar level of works and ideas from DevArt. A lot of you will hate this idea, but it’s true. The thing is, there’s so many people there that pin pointing that one person is like trying to shoot a specific star in the sky blindfolded.

I’ve discussed about plagiarism in modern days, and the Internet society we have now only raises it further. Will we meet a day when originality is removed completely from culture and ripping off is completely accepted outside their own industries? I hope this won’t happen, as it would mean a crude death for anything you consider art, and to culture in general.

If we decide that anyone and anything can be art, then we need to also accept that anyone and anything is art. This is not negotiable. Then art has truly become a common commodity much like shit and there is no more reason to glorify it. It’s just art now. No bells or whistles, no more pulling punches. We’re in Art country now, there’s no stopping here. You need to ask yourself if it is the price you are willing to pay that ideology. Art for the masses has been passed and realized; now we have that the masses are the artist.

In the future when they’re looking back the change of the millennium, they will see the rise of information technology and digital arts. How the Internet will evolve in the following ten years is a big question that we will just have to see. It’s a ripe to for someone to start a proper art movement through the Internet.

Let’s finish this post with a much more lighter tone, and hope that I won’t touch art for a while. We need something moody, but still something to get us going…

3-2-1 LET’S GO

Monthly Music; そこに海があって

I forgot monthly music this time around. Funny how that goes.

I’ve got no real subject this time. I’ve been busy with things and thus I’m late with me schedules and plans regarding this blog, but things will come together… somehow. The LD player is in the works, kinda, and will see the day of light when I manage to nab proper screenshots and other stuff needed for it.

Otherwise, it’s winter here. The world outside is white again and getting colder. Winter was a reason I selected the above music this time from Soko ni Umi ga Atte, Mirage product. (Ha! I don’t need to label this post related to âge now.) I really like the song. I’ve got no idea what kind of genre it is or who made it or similar. I’m kinda inept and inexperienced with music that way. I know more about it’s production and what goes into it rather than who made what song at what time. I do know Dio and love me some Holy Diver, and Rhapsody’s Holy Thunder For–


Aww shit, now I need to tag this properly AND take that shot. Yes, I still keep my promise on drinking when referencing to Muv-Luv, or just talking about it. I wonder how in the world I manage to keep myself sober

Let’s point out the elephant in the room; Will I talk about Disney buying Lucasfilm? Yes, as soon as I’ve sorted my own personal feelings regarding the purchase. I need to read on the subject a bit, and at the moment we have very little info outside the upcoming Episode VII. That thing I’m hopeful for is the release of the Original Trilogy on Blu-Ray without those additions Lucas made. That would be a goldmine to Disney, especially if they include every single extra they can. Funny how the LaserDisc versions are still the best versions of the Original Trilogy next to the theatrical reels, as the DVD print that had episodes IV-VI had barely decent LD rips, where the screen actually paused for few seconds where the player turned the side of the disc. I can edit that out on my computer, so why couldn’t they? Most likely because they didn’t know about it.

I’m more concerned about Indiana Jones. But we’ll get back to the topic when the time comes.

There’s few articles sitting in the backburner at the moment. I’m not wholly satisfied how they are at the moment, and the other one needs rather slight revamp in context. The other one is pretty fine, it just has too much… Muv-Luv in it. It’s that time of the year, y’know.

It’s about a year since I started reading that. Technically, I started reading it the 30th, so the Anniversary day has come and gone…

“No matter in what world, you are you”

When we ask ourselves Who am I? the answer is usually simple. I am your name here. That encompasses most of it, if not all. Then we can ask what is it that makes you you. All your experiences, your memories and feelings. Then, what about your physical being? Does it dictate who you are to the same extent? It’s a good question, a question that we will have to ask more often in future where bionics will be more present.


With a similar bionic, the brains slowly rejected the implant and ultimately stopped working

With bionic eyes and hands, we will come to a point where we can replace complete body parts for functioning bionics. It’s the traditional sci-fi cliché, where a guy gets his arm replaced with a robotic one. There really isn’t anything to detract of who he is, we all can agree with that. This guy is just a guy with a robot arm.

Then what if we have a full body prosthesis? Imagine this; your body is 90% replaced with artificial components. The only things that has left untouched is your brains, and part of digestive system is left in to keep the brains running. When you look at the mirror after waking up, you do not see yourself any more, but your new physical self with robotic face, if even that. Would you regard yourself to be you? You still have your memories, your experiences and all that what made you mentally. Your body isn’t what it was. To an extent, it’s not your body, not the one you grew in. Is it still you, or is it just you in another body? The schema of self is most likely fixated to our physical bodies to a large extent, and with a full body prosthesis this schema is rattled to an extreme.

As your brains have not been altered, it has to adjust being inside a completely different kind of body. The question is if the brains rejects the body, will the mind so as well? We could presume that the brains have input similar to what a human body would give through neural pathways. How would you see and feel at first, and how off they would fee before adjusting them to feel more natural and pleasing? There are more questions than answers, as we can’t truly predict how human psyche and biological parts will act with full body prosthesis. We can make educated guesses, and it has to be enough for now.

Some people feel that they have been born into a wrong body and fix their bodies more to their liking. Perhaps this kind of feeling is what will linger after a full body prosthetic. Let’s assume that you get used to your new body rather fast, and at some point it’s functions become completely natural. Isn’t this somewhat the same way how babies learn to control their bodies as they grow? As you’ve grown with the new body, you have new experiences and memories. It can’t be said that the body becomes part of you as much as you learn to control it.

I assume that legally this person has all the same rights as he was before full body prosthesis, as the only that has changed is the physical body you have. This actually happens now as we are, but in more ‘natural’ way if you will. We grow new cells to replace out old ones all the time, so in X amounts of years vast majority of our body has been replaced with a new one. Full body prosthesis can be seen as accelerated change of the body. Naturally, what the society at large would think of this kind of body change is an open question, and how would this respond affect the mind within this body. An example of full body prosthetic in sci-fi, is Robocop. I’d recommend you to watch the two first movies again and keep on eye on these matters, as the movies touch on the subject quite a lot.

Let’s leave prosthetics out for a while, and ask how would you need to be treated if you were reconstruction of yourself.

Quantum teleportation is true at some level. Much like in Star Trek, quantum teleportation basically breaks down the object, reads the data and reassembles it at the other end. To put it bluntly, your body is practically killed and all the information it had is put together the way they were. Is the person coming out you, or your clone? This is an age old question that the Trek fandom has discussed over and over again.

How would the legal department consider this person the same as the one who was transported? Biologically and mentally it is the same person, so I believe there would be no conflicts. The continuity of self has no stops. However, what if the person begins to feel that he is a copy of himself rather than real him? There might be underlying psychological problems with quantum transportation that we have yet to see.

In the end, what we are is just information within a body. Whether or not it matters if this information exists inside an artificial body or in a reconstructed one is a personal question to us all at the moment. After all, some part of our physical self always will be there with bionics.

But what if everything physical was replaced with machinery? There is at least one story that dwells a little bit into this kind of scenario; Muv-Luv Alternative.

Kagami Sumika in Muv-Luv Alternative does not have a body any more. Her body was violated and then ripped apart, and only her brains was left alone floating inside a glass tube. To give her a body, the last bit of her physical self, the brains, had to die. Her soul, or to loan a word from Ghost in the Shell, her Ghost was implanted into a physical mechanical body. This body is not a perfect replication of human body, but almost as close as possible.

The question is whether or not she is the same Sumika she was. Her body in and out is completely different, only her mind stays. In this case we have no difficulties with brains rejecting the body, but what about the mind? How does the mind understand what the machine understands and all of its underlying complications? For example, the machine brains most likely offers higher levels of memory recollection. How will her psyche handle this new body it resides in? Does it start from the baby steps and on some level become growing into it, and adjusting itself accordingly? If we’re to believe the story itself, Sumika’s body is a replication, and her mind “grows” as it becomes more and more accustomed to the body. Perhaps it could be said the she becomes herself again.

Let me ask again; what makes you you?

If we are mostly a sum of our experiences and memories, then the body should not have much meaning to who we are, to the self. Fiction usually has one common theme when it comes to body replacements; accepting it. In Robocop Murphey had to accept the facts that had come to, and only then was able to continue on. Similarly Sumika needed to accept everything that had happened to her, and what she was in order to become ‘human’ again.

The time will come when we have to start testing the limits that our physical limitations allow us to reconsider what is an individual and human.

Piracy, emulators and history

First of all, head to byuu’s homepage to update your bsnes. Some time ago they finally cracked the last of the chips, and now bsnes is basically a virtual SNES for you. It also supports more consoles now, like the Famicom and GameBoy.

With every negative thing piracy does, there’s always that one thing that it excels at; archival. Without piracy most of the PC games of the 80’s and back would’ve been lost in the annals of time. For example, I believe part of Atari 520ST games have been physically lost, but thanks to the piracy rings we have bakcups of them. Originally in disk format, then later as data. Same goes for the Commodore 64 and all other computers. Partial reason most likely was that part of the 80’s computers used C-cassettes as their choice of media, like the ZX Spectrum. Some of them later gained cartridge add-ons or similar, but it still begs the question how many of these games have survived in their original form, and in what shape they are.

Piracy archives pretty much everything. The Internet has sources for some films’ VHS rips that no longer exist on the market in any form. You may find sixth or eight generation tapes that some obscure Hong Kong dealer may have, if you’re desperate for a physical copy. Physical media usually lasts long, unless it’s easy to damage. C-cassettes and floppy disks are rather easy to damage, and lower quality productions usually eroded far faster than their pricier counterparts. In comparison, a dog once ate parts of my NES cartridge away, chipping some of it off and all that, but the game survived mostly intact. It still works the same, even thou part of the lower PCB was literally chewed off.

I have no real trust on the DVD format and beyond. Piracy will archive these films and games as it has always done. I haven’t met any disc rot in my library as of now, but I suspect that in the next ten years part of my films and games will become unplayable because of it. With movies it’s not that big of a deal, as the experience doesn’t change on the format outside quality. However, experiencing games does change with a jump from consoles to emulators. This is why well coded emulators that emulate the hardware are needed.

Emulators’ first and foremost mission has always been to emulate the original platform. At some point most people lost this idea and emulators’ purpose was corrupted simply to play games. The notion “to emulate something” is a misnomer, as you don’t emulate the games, you emulate the platform they run on. This is why precise and accurate emulation is required by the core idea; to both preserve the functions of the original platform as closely as possible in digital form, and to provide as perfectly emulated platform the games run on as possible. bsnes and MAME are two emulators that still continue to follow the idea of historical archival, thou MAME has become exceedingly heavy at it’s core and partially is held together with hacks.

Hacks and plugins in emulators is not a good thing. This means that the emulator is not doing a good job at emulating the system. ZSNES still runs mostly on hacks that do not emulate the workings of a real SNES as it should, and ePSXe relies heavily on plugins and their workings. From gamers perspective anything that makes the games playable is enough, but when get over the initial excitement, you realize that lack of proper emulation affects the gameplay experience. Some emulators actually go beyond what the original system could’ve done and removes slowdowns and such. However, there are multiple games out there that use various systems’ limitations to create gameplay. For a simple example let’s use Space Invaders. The original hardware it ran on could barely run the game. Basically it ran too slow and couldn’t handle all the objects on the screen. As the player defeats the aliens one by one, the game gets faster as less and less objects appear on screen. If we take the approach ZSNES and similar emulators, Space Invaders should run on the speed that it runs when there’s only one alien on the screen. We all can agree that this isn’t how the game works, but this is what some of the emulators do; fixing what wasn’t broken via “over emulating.”

As playable emulation does not exclude accurate emulation or vice versa, the only reason people still want to use ZSNES is because they simply refuse to change their habits.

Even when games break down, the systems may survive. It’s rather easy to get games from the Internet and them to a disc. With a modded console, or in Dreamcast’s case modded disc image, you can run games on their original systems. What about cartridge systems the reader asks. To that I answer; there are flash carts like Everdrive. At some point in the future carts will erode and die. Custom cartridges like the Everdrive is then one of the answers how to play these games outside re-releases. While I applaud Nintendo and other companies on their older game re-releases with the new systems as downloadable games, we all can agree that playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii is not the same thing as playing it on a real NES. Flash drive carts are in their infancy as there isn’t much people working on them, but I hope that at some point we will go over the threshold where the carts support all the games in a system’s library.

Ultimately, all physical systems will break down. Piracy will conserve the games in their ROM form. Emulators like bnses will conserve the platforms as closely as possible to their true counterparts. While piracy can’t be promoted, it is a necessary evil. As history has showed, companies tend to misplace and destroy source codes and protoypes. For example, Sega pretty much lost all source codes on their Saturn era games. This is why all Saturn games we see re-released, like Princess Crown, are emulated. Unless someone in Sega actually reverse engineers Saturn’s workings, we’re never going to see Saturn games on modern consoles as ports. Seeing how Saturn works, nobody really is interested even making proper emulators for it, let alone reverse engineer it.

The promising game industry

It’s a very good question whether or not the game industry is going to keep growing as fast as it has. During the last few years we haven’t seen much new content in games. The machines we play on are irrelevant; it’s the games. However, the lack of compelling games is making customers pirate more games. The industry refuces to aknowledge the message. If they would notice what is going on, would it change the gsmes we’re having? The answer is no. The industry still is believing the fallacy of free artistic liberties.

This will be the main reason why games will rise on price and ultimately bring on the second crash; the game developers are not catering the audience they should, but themselves. They’re making trophee games, games that won’t bring the money home. Just as books that writers are making to themselves won’t sell, the same games won’t sell. This applies in any market.

This is why the game market will meet a certaim crash in the future unless something drastically changes. New game developers are learning to be artistic and disregard whatever responsibilities they have to the people paying for their product. The customers are god, never the developer.
When the industry comes tumbling down, the modern developers won’t notice it at first; they will dismiss it until they lose their jobs. I doubt that this time a new Nintendo will rise. There is no company at the moment that targets the Blue Ocean. The game market would indeed grow if a new, proper and dsring company would rise with a new console that would just do that.
Otherwise, the market will come crashing down in the future rather than keep growing.

Shell of soul and mortality

I’ve been discussing a lot about video games lately, and there are more to discuss about them each day. For example, I was about to do a post about how the word rehash is been widely misused in general game public, but I decided to dwell into another matter.
This matter is the relationship between human and robotics.

Prosthetic limbs are becoming more that of fiction portrayed. Unlike how fiction portrays them, robotic prosthetics require training to be properly used, just like any limb in human body. Mostly the difference will be in that it doesn’t come naturally with artificial body parts, as they’re not there from the birth. You may know how to operate hand by nature, but you don’t know how to manually operate it.

Closing a hand is a complex motion we all do with out instincts alone. However, even with our real hands we are using a lot of muscles to achieve this without ourselves noticing it. When a person is fitted with an bionic arm there are few things in the way of operation. The first thing would be is how one can overcome psychological barriers he has. When you lose your hand, that’s that. You lose your hand. Even if you are fitted with a bionic hand you must argue with your body that there exists a concept of hand. Then you’d have to start finding your way how to form a fist and move your fingers. The software in the hand will have receptors that will read the same messages that the brain would send to a real hand.
These are merely things to overcome. In the following decade we will have perfectly good bionic hands, but the question of human psyche will never go away. I know there are few reader there that are thinking Oh that’s not a big deal, I can do it! the answer would be that No, you can’t unless you understand both of your body and mind. From person to person it will be either harder, or even more harder. Losing an arm and replacing it will always be very traumatic experience and unseen mental locks are bound to happen.
After all, human body was never meant to be replaced by anything.

Making a fist is one of the basic functions our hand can make, but imagine how much it would take to get used to a new eye. While it’s easy to make people feel through receptors. A person who gains a new eye has to get used to seeing. It’s not that he is receiving visual stimuli, but the question is also what kind of stimuli is present. Neurostimulation is a bit dangerous, as too much voltage will fry the receiving end.

Unlike in case of hand, a person who might see again will most likely adapt to his bionic eye rather quickly. Seeing is a passive thing we all do all the time, even when we focus on something. However, we can’t say what happens when a blind person begins to see thanks to bionics in the future. I have little doubt that in all cases of bionic replacements there has to be people to ensure the mental health of patients.

The artificial parts are emulating the real body parts. Just like in game emulation, the raw basics are easy to put in place and sand them down. When we get to the final 10% we’re faced with nigh-impossible odds of recreating the workings of a simple hand. Most likely we’ll have biological spare parts grown within protein tanks before we achieve that. The people who are lower class will always be able to find affordable spare bionics, but the higher class will be able to purchase expensive biological replacements. Perhaps the waltz of war, peace and revolution will be danced on some nation in the future.

In the end, replacing a physical part of a man isn’t out of question at all. Having artificial parts does not make anyone any less of a human. While we do use our physical bodies as one part of assuring our existence, ultimately what we are lies in our soul, or brain if we want to be biological. As long as our soul is present in whatever replacement human body will receive, be it complete or partial, the human mind can overcome the trouble of controlling a new body part if given enough time and training. This is mostly because the human mind has something similar to what it’s used to.
But what happens when we start to change the workings of human soul? Human mind is not constructed to work within realms of multiple connections to anything else but to the body itself. If we start adding direct feedback directly to our brains from outside sources that are foreign to our every day actions there is no answer what would happen.

To be honest, I do not want to see the day when we can attach our minds to a machine. There are more unseen questions than hypothetical answers. When people start connecting their brains to whatever machine it might be for direct feedback, the mind and brains won’t be able to understand what it is. There is no schema for such control and actions. If newborn babies had cybernetic implants put in them after their birth, then their brains would start to accept these signals that they’d accept as “natural” and part of the shell they’re encased in.

I doubt there is a good representation what will come when humanity finally broadens beyond it’s bodily limitations. In a sense we already have done that with the Internet. Psychology would be the best field to study the possibility and dangers of augmentations and replacements of human body. After all, it’s all about the mind controlling the body.