I wasn’t expecting one of my great educational experiences this semester to come from a video game. Recently I’ve been playing through Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a game that deals with the science of human augmentation. Below the shiny graphics and kickass action sequences lie some pretty profound questions: how would society react to people with superhuman abilities? What are the moral implications of using physical or mental enhancements to give you a competitive edge? In a world where cybernetic implants are becoming the norm, what exactly does it mean to be human?
The game, so far, has been brilliant, but here’s what’s really got me intrigued. The technologies in Deus Ex aren’t as far-fetched as they seem, and I’ve got the Youtube clip to prove it.
There’s a lot that scares me about a future like the one in Deus Ex, but there’s a lot that amazes me as well. It seems to me that we’re starting to catch up to our own stories, and I’m not at all surprised. As Ray Bradbury said, “If anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.”