Re: SOFTWARE: Do you play computer games?

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 06:21:18 MST

Hi. My name is Anders Sandberg and I'm an Alpha Centauri addict. :-)

SMAC has some very transhumanist themes, not just the transcendence
scenario. The progress of the ecological technologies contains a very
interesting idea about how the relationship with nature can change:
first it is the enemy, then we learn more about it and it becomes a
resource, then it becomes something that is vulnerable and must be
protected, and finally it becomes united with technology, economy and
eventually mankind itself. Even without the somewhat romantic ideas
about the sentient planet this progress has many interesting sides.

My main complaint is that all these new technologies doesn't really
change the world - you still have cities, army units and mines even
when your devices are nanotech with AI powered by controlled
singularities. I would really like to create a game where such
developments really changed the way everything worked, but I realize
this might be extremely tricky to do game balance-wise and in a way that
non-initiated players would understand.

One day - when I have time - I would dearly love to participate in
writing a game like SMAC with truly transhuman technologies and more
interesting personality simulations of the opponents.

Another game that has some transhuman content (at least in my mind) is
Sentinel. You are a robot that can only turn around, and can absorb the
mass/energy of trees and rocks in the landscape, and create new robots
at remote locations. Movement is by uploading to the other robot. The
goal is to reach the highest point where the Sentinel is standing; it is
trying to dissipate the mass/energy in the landscape and drains you if
it can see you. In a sense this eerie game is the battle between entropy
and extropy: you want to collect all available energy for constructive
use, the Sentinel tries to dissipate it.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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