As the feverish race to replace the arduous trials and rewarding gifts of life with coordinated and structured, yet temperamental points of data invades all aspects of humanity with all the subtlety of a technocratic barrage of selfies examining a library study session, which passes for poetry in the information age, and discretion and redundancy are left wallowing and broke in a suburban Taco Bell parking lot. In nature, there exists free lunch, or in this case realizing any sort advantage from a .99 cent value menu, which could possibly feature cured Aardvark.
The mad dash to a life under artificial intelligence spurred by instant gratification and a limited dosage of purpose, rivals the patriotic stampede of middle twentieth century anthem sprinters in Irish movie theaters. The audience is moved and invigorated by the Irish national anthem played at the end of the film, before bolting for the exits in a frenzied mass of chaos and individual celebration of freedom. Once outside the theater, the participating contestants reconvene, and a winner is determined. The entire chain of events illustrates both the limitations of groupthink, at the beginning and end of the ordeal, and a testament to the spontaneity of the human spirit during the randomness and drive to excel during the escape phase. The heights and lows of the tradition are a suitable metaphor for the contemporary environment of the tech industry and the motives behind the driving force of software development. Initially blinded by an inexplicable and shared fervor, coding engineers plunge into multitudes of linear projects with an unrelenting urgency, briefly emerging as individuals amid the surging maelstrom, before being swarmed under the brutal intertidal forces of feasible collaboration.
The resulting programmed tools and finished products of breathtaking depth and detail will exist at the forefront of the technological scale, but remain finite and vulnerable due to the propensity of humans to be just that, humans, a natural character flaw that hinders true brilliance and the pure ability to explore by inadvertently constructing complex mirrors, instead of simple windows. A cruel indictment and affliction that not one individual on earth can escape.
The gaming world will never again exist on a simple two dimensional coplaner grid, as high definition graphical manifestations supplemented by 3-D technologies has unveiled a world within a world in the fleeting saga of reality losing ground to virtual rules. Endless opportunities of sensory deprivation and complete immersion now exist over the counter with manufacturers of holographic interfaced eyewear readily ship to customers through the popular retail portals of the mighty Amazon and Alibaba, though it is no secret the majority of specialized solid state assembly lines operate within the foreign investor friendly borders of China.
With the August, 2020 public release of the latest version in the popular Microsoft Flight Simulator aviation series, there exists no law and order within the software, only the wishes of the player, and the code generating fundamental parameters vital in building a world quite uncomfortably close to reality for the skeptics wary of technology reaching an indiscernible distinction from magic. The video game features a first person point of view from the cockpit of a comprehensive list of aircraft, and the multiple camera options, along with the complex terrain and man made scenery offer a sense of realism and responsibility that is not typically embraced throughout gaming culture. Still, the product exists as a video game at heart, and allows players to constantly test the limits of authenticity by providing the latitude to sidestep the rules, it at this crucial juncture, where the individual pursuits of humans, test the limits of a standalone digitally propelled software suite.
As FS 2020 is at the mercy of end user, the concept of basic rules outside the confines of physics and scientific reality, affords limitless opportunities for the individual or multi-players to exhaust the heights of imagination and dreams, and opens the door for the conniving and crafty engineer to facilitate a virtual laboratory utilizing the software earmarked for leisure. The intelligence community is on code red alert to pounce on this unique opportunity to exploit the amazing accomplishments of Microsoft in the strategic harvest of vital information, and the rendering of raw data into tangible infrastructure.
The software giant’s mastery of advancements in virtual reality innovation, in avoiding the omnipresent cyclical self-defeating properties, has transcended the entire expanse of the tech marketplace, as business and gamers can take full advantage of the immersive user experience to explore and master the world from the comfort of an office location or residence. The evolution and rendezvous with augmented reality and the graphic interface with nearly every imagined scenario possible, makes terrestrial expeditions and live thought experiments merely the gateway to understanding the universe. However, the purposeful mechanized megapixels of effulgence, liberating the near-future of research and entertainment from a toxic environment of circuitous and visceral diatribe, afford equally breathtaking opportunities for the organizations and individuals wishing to exploit the system. Armed with aerial and satellite photography populated from Bing maps, as wells as the contributions of expert users, Flight Simulator 2020 is as much a reflection of the implied ebb and flow of human life on earth, as the encapsulation of a sterile and perfect dream world, where tragic consequences are eliminated by simply restarting the game after a horrendous digital plane crash. The moral to the story of video game climactic endings, is that the universe remains unchanged whether or not a player achieves electronic immortality.
Real or not real? A screen capture from Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and a doorway in Courchevel, France. The attention to detail of the AI rendering is breathtaking, if not frightening.
MS Flight Simulator 2020 users are given the ability to literally “walk around” the computer generated terrain outside the borders of airports, and with the fusion with Bing maps, the imagery is in many instances indistinguishable from reality. As one YouTube commentator posted in response to the scintillating graphics, “7 years later : Life Simulator, where you can walk, drive, fly across the whole world.”
Speaking of life, the inability to instantly discern reality from the gaming milieu, throws a proverbial carrot at the aforementioned international consortium of spies, from Pyonyang to Tirane, and Doha to Beijing are salivating liquid gold, and as trained Pavlovian dog packs to regimes or the ideology of the decade, are always searching for new and exciting methods to train without injury, bloodshed, and ideally within sanctuary of the Dear Momma Leader’s basement of advancing totalitarianism. FS 2020 overextends to the concept of transparency in laying out a detailed map of cities, neighborhoods, and topographical features to painstaking detail for the taking. If 2015 was a bad look for the invasion of Chinese spyware through ultra-popular drones getting a Black Friday welcome of unimpeded intelligence gathering bounty crowding the skies with the the DIY explosion, 2020 and the intersection between simulation software to advanced mapping data collecting protocol is the next destination in a series of potentially internationally transgressions suffered by the US at the hands of every rogue element within the forested shadows of covert operations, and high stakes unilateral trade agreements.
While the Western world struggles to learn that copacetic amiability is not an attribute practiced and criminals and governments, and governments or criminals alike, and Bitcoin is at best an iridescent sham moderately destabilizing a minute percentage of monetary systems at least for the moment, trust should always be earned, and ever simulated. However, in the optimistic world view of the tech industry and prolific gamers, what within the softscreen stays within the softscreen, and basic thermodynamics or any semblance of reasonable nationalism can be cast through the window that illuminates and a pathway of uncertainty. In this unsettling climate, a little wariness goes a long way.