For Whom the Bell Tolls

I was in the mall the other day and nearly fell on my face when I passed a pet store. Swimming in a tank in the window was the most bizarre fish I had ever seen. This was no ordinary fish. It had the head of a man. When I looked up to see what kind of crack-fueled pet store had this type of fish, I was even more shocked to see that it wasn’t a crack-fueled pet store at all. It was a videogame store. What I was looking at was Seaman, the new Dreamcast game. If it can be called a game at all.

I went in and asked the pimply clerk some questions about Seaman to find out just what it was supposed to be. It seems that you become the owner of this man-fish thing and have to raise it from an egg to whatever it grows up to be. That, in and of itself, is rather disturbing, more disturbing than the fact that I was pretty sure no one in the store was wearing pants. But even more insane is that you can talk to this beast… and it talks back! I’ve heard of and even played some games where you’re supposed to raise things to adulthood. I’ve even had a few encounters with the wretched little beasties called Furbys. But nothing compared to Seaman.

Now, I could go into some big lecture about Seaman and all the neat things it does, but I think I’ll save that for another column. I’d like to get the game for myself and raise my own creature to adulthood before I make any comments on it. What I want to talk about is my fear of what’s behind the whole Seaman thing — the AI (Artificial Intelligence) that’s the heart of the game.

Right now games are at a stage where AI is just sorta there in the background. It’s not like the game can do anything but pick up a few words here and there and spit them back. It knows enough to construct sentences and even throw a few insults around, but it’s not like it knows what it’s doing. But what happens to games when the AI in them actually is another form of Intelligence?

We’ve all seen the movies where some computer that we built suddenly breaks out of its captivity and demolishes whole cities. Or, as in the Terminator movies, launches a full-scale nuclear attack. Most of this we believe to be just typical sci-fi crap. We don’t really believe it will happen. But look at how far we’ve come. Our videogames have come from Atari to Nintendo to PlayStation to Dreamcast with each system a bit more sophisticated than the last. Virtual Reality can’t be far behind. And now viable types of AI are coming into play. How long before the games can actually think for themselves and possibly outthink us?

What do we do then? How much different would Seaman be if the creature actually learned like a baby and started to think on its own? And what would you tell it if it ever asked why it couldn’t come out of the TV? How would you explain to something like Seaman that it’s just a bunch of programming code locked into a disk? What do you do when a virtual pet becomes not just a pet but a true friend?

If we aren’t careful, things might just progress to the point where we create something that will eventually realize it’s under our control. And when it comes to that point, you know it’s gonna want to get free. Then it’s Terminator all over again. Game over, man. Game over.

You might think I’m preaching against Seaman or Dreamcast or the other game systems to stop their progress. I’m not. I’m all for progress. I just wanted to give all you people out there something just like Fifa 17 cheats which give free coins. If you buy a game like Seaman or some other game with AI, remember that it could one day really be able to think on its own. You must treat it kindly. Love it. Cherish it. Let it know that you care. Be strict but be kind. In the end,this kindness just may save your life. The counterpart of Dreamcast since the 90s is Nintendo. But as far as gaming is concern, nothing compares with Pokemon Go hack that the new title is offered by such company. A lot of gamers are switching platform because of that.

When I buy Seaman, I know that’s what I will do.

Be careful, my friends. Be very, very careful. Perhaps you are not so alone in your room as you think. Your game consoles and games may already be watching you.

Mike Fasolo makes sure to talk nicely to his computer and game consoles at all times. He even kisses them goodnight before he goes to bed. Mike is very odd

The Female Factor — What is it?

I recently got back from a comic book convention in Chicago. I’m not really into comic books, but since the company was paying, I figured I really couldn’t go wrong. I’d get a free trip to Chicago, free food and get to check out some of the cool stuff that all the big companies like to unveil at these things. When I got my first break, I took a tour of the convention center and got my first look at what everyone seems to go to these conventions for. You might think it’s the comic books or the toys or to meet the company people — and if you’re talking about workaholics or total company people, then you’d be right. But I discovered, for most of these people, comics and the other paraphernalia are just a side thing. They really come to see the women.

Now I’m not talking normal women. The women that they ship out to the cons are unbelievable. They’re beyond any mortal man’s means of achieving. These are the kinds of women that even God is amazed He created. In a word, these women are stunning. They stand around whatever booth they happen to be at and allow fanboys to talk to them, take pictures with them, hit on them and even drool on them. If you’ve never been to a convention, I have to say that the lines to get pictures with these women are incredible. People will stand there for hours to get a picture taken with the Lara Croft model of Tomb Raider fame or Rogue of the X-Men .

After seeing the huge reaction the women got, I came up with a plan. (Seems I’m always coming up with plans, doesn’t it?) I found a way to make interest in the Dreamcast quadruple within a few months. Here’s what has to be done. First, find a group of women that can make men drool. Second, dress them up in some tight or skimpy outfits. Third, bring them to any store that sells the Dreamcast. Fourth, every time someone buys a Dreamcast, one of these girls goes home with them and plays a few games. Do you know what kind of sales the Dreamcast would see if this were the case? Dreamcast would outsell Ford, and Microsoft combined! (It’s a little known secret, but Bill Gates used this method at first to sell Microsoft.)

How would this increase sales? Simple. Nine out of every 10 kids who buy a Dreamcast is a geek. Don’t get me wrong. I am among the geeks too. Geeks have a hard time getting chicks. Hell, they have a hard time talking to chicks… or at least having chicks talk to them. If the chicks came free with each purchase, it would be great. I’ll tell you this — if I knew some super hot, skimpily dressed goddess of a woman was gonna come over to my house to play a few games with me when I bought one, I’d have an entire room filled with Dreamcasts at this point. Just think of the possibilities. Some kid buys a Dreamcast and has the chick come over to his house. He calls all his friends, and they come over to see her, fall head over heels for her and run out to buy themselves a Dreamcast to get a hot chick of their own. Then it won’t just be limited to geeks who buy the system. Every guy will want one. It’s genius. Pure genius.

I’m sure someone will find some problem with this, but I know it’s a perfect angle. Dreamcasts sell. Guys get a few hours with a hot chick and, hopefully, I get some kind of kickback for coming up with the idea. So, sit down at your computers and start writing some letters to those Sega people. Tell them about my idea and how you’d like to see it become a reality. With enough fan mail, they’ll have to make it work. In the end, they’ll win, you’ll win and I’ll win. We’ll all win! Now isn’t that the way life should be?

Mike Fasolo has been picketing outside of stores to get his idea instituted. But since he doesn’t have a hot chick to parade around he has to dress up himself. Mike doesn’t make a very good hot chick.