The “Rising” of Technology

It’s no myth that technology is deeply integrated into our way of living. As stated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in this report “The number of households with access to the internet at home increased, reaching 7.7 million in 2014–15, representing 86% of all households (up from 83% in 2012–13)” As for what devices were used to access the internet in these households the results are as follows:

  • Desktop/Laptop: 94%
  • Mobile/Smart phones: 86%
  • Tablets: 62%

This is only one aspect of technology that’s integrated into many people’s lives but what are the effects? Many movies, books and even games have questioned the future of technology but there is one that is unique; Metal Gear Rising. Despite being set in a video game world, it is an interesting look at (while extreme and almost unbelievable at times) what technology can offer.

The Metal Gear series is infamous for it’s themes of war being the main focus of the series. In Metal Gear Solid 4 the theme of modern war was tackled, Metal Gear Rising does the same albeit to the extreme. Metal Gear Solid 4 had players tackling soldiers enhanced with nanomachines and advanced war machines but despite this it was still grounded in (some) reality. This was due to the fact you as a player still had the limitations of human ability by playing as Solid Snake (Main character of Metal Gear Solid 1 and 4)

Metal Gear Rising turns it to 11 with the player taking control of a powerful ninja cyborg Raiden who has the ability to take on gigantic monster sized war machines with ease. To give you an idea of just how extreme Metal Gear Rising, here’s a quick look at some combat:

If people can make an analysis of the distant cyber-dystopian world of Matrix and Ghost in the Shell and apply those themes to reality then Metal Gear Rising is no different. While Metal Gear Rising does have a couple of themes that drive the story, one of the main themes is the blur between human and machine.

When you think about it what is the difference between human and machine? Simply put, one is made out of flesh and organs while the other is completely made out of metal or anything other than flesh and organs. But with recent advancements in technology, the reality of at least having cyborg prosthetics can be achieved. Prosthetic limbs is entirely possible and have been used on people without arms or legs.

2073

Daniel Omar, a 14 year old with a prosthetic arm

With how rapidly this kind of technology is advancing, how long would it take for humans to reach the capability to even make bodies for a person to inhabit? And at that point the question arises whether or not they are human. Metal Gear Rising explores this theme thoroughly although not many people tend to look into it. The themes of cyber-dystopia are most certainly there but hidden behind humor, fast-paced action gameplay and high octane music.

As for how I’m going convey these themes, it’ll be done through a YouTube video series a la Let’s Play videos. The standard format of general Let’s Play videos include commentating live on what’s happening within the moment, not often are they scripted. However, due to the non-informal nature of Let’s Play videos I’ll be adding commentary post-recording. This commentary may include things such as;

  • Character motifs as they appear
  • Reasons for certain events happening
  • How said events and characters add to the overall story

This is done to avoid the non-informal nature of Let’s Play videos. Generally lots of Let’s Players tend to go on for 20 minutes talking about their own lives or just reading character dialogue. While others can find entertainment out of these kinds of Let’s Plays, I want to avoid falling into that category.

The current plan is to include only important segments within the game such as boss fights and cutscenes (though this is open to change as the project goes on).

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