With the post-apocalyptic Surge 2 releasing on the 24th of September and the highly anticipated and futuristic Cyberpunk 2077 making us all wish for a healthcare plan that includes a flying ambulance, it’s safe to say that we’re all excited to see what the future holds.
With that in mind, today I’ll be taking a look back into the past, to see what kind of predictions have been made about the future by the video game industry and whether or not they’re plausible:
We’ll have artificial organs by the year 2027 – Deus Ex: Human Revolution
The Deus Ex series has made a ton of predictions about the future, from flying cars to full on area 51 revelations, but one seems to be more interesting, and more plausible than the rest.
During the events of Human Revolution, we’re told all about the wealth of different genetic modifications available to the human race, including the ability to replace organs with a synthetic alternative.
This sounds like pure science fiction however, when looking at the latest breakthroughs in medical science, this could a become a reality in the very near future.
The first official synthetic organ transplant was carried out as early as 2011, with a cancer patient’s windpipe being replaced with an artificial, man-made trachea. With this kind of innovation happening as early as 2011, could we see artificial organs by 2027?
Dom Galeon of Neoscope thinks so. In an article in 2017 he spoke of the advances in 3D printing and technology bringing us closer towards a future without such a huge necessity for human donation. It’s interesting stuff!
So, when do I get my flying car?
Police robots that can fire rockets and turn into cars – Future Cop: LAPD
Set in the year 2098, Future Cop on the PlayStation 1 allowed us to avoid the hassle of arrests and reading criminals their rights by instead going to town on bad guys in a flame-spewing, gatling-laser armed robot that can transform into a high-speed car at the push of a button.
It’s a grim and grizzly view of the future, but it probably would give you pause before stealing that pack of M&M’s from your local store!
But could we see a place for less aggressive robotic innovations in the police department?
In an article for How Stuff Works, Johnathan Strickland highlights the important roles that robots currently fill in police departments, including bomb disposal and identification.
He also speaks about the potential issues that would arise if a robot were to harm a human, making us doubt the creation of a walker-mounted railgun being a potential future innovation to the LAPD anytime soon
Simchips that can allow us to feel and experience different sensations – Shadowrun Returns
Shadownrun Returns, based on the popular pen-and-paper RPG Shadowrun, introduces us to a world filled with a mixture of magic and technology in the years following 2050.
Players are able to create hackers, utilise drones and even utilise magic to beat situations and overcome opponents in the turn-based title, but we’re going to focus on one specific innovation utilised as a plot point in the game.
Also known as BTL or Better Than Life chips, these little devices allow people to experience the moods, feelings and sensations of others.
It’s an interesting and dangerous concept that the game discusses, delving into the concept of addiction and abuse, however could we see a similar technology utilised to help mankind in the future?
In a recent article for Science News, Laura Sanders talks about how the manipulation of implants designed to assist with seizure control has been linked to emotional and mental responses within patients.
As mentioned in the incredibly informative article, it’s a far cry from what we could a mood-altering chip and raises a lot of ethical questions, but it does open up the possibility to scientists of creating something for that purpose in future.
With MRI scans now able to map the human brain and able to recognise responses to various stimuli, perhaps we could see something in the future that could help with depression and other conditions.
Still no sign of Shamanstic Orks though…
A way to control gravity – Half-Life series
It’s fun to pick up a toilet and fling it at high speeds into an approaching combine soldier. I think we can agree on this universal point. So where are our gravity guns?
The Half-Life series weapon is often thought of positively by many, especially when we’re trapped behind a desk and the boss is bearing down towards us, but just how realistic is the possibility of controlling gravity?
It’s unfortunately something incredibly complicated and the short answer is, no.
The long answer, however, is something interesting to examine.
Often mentioned in physics papers, such as this one by Yin Zhu, the prospect of affecting and resisting the affects of gravity by creating a large-scale magnetic field has been proposed in the past and is theoretically sound to an extent.
With this in mind however it would probably cause serious health issues or even death (dependant on the scale of the field)
Maybe I’ll just stick to throwing the stapler, rather than trying to develop my own version.
Space travel and exploration – Every space game (take your pick!)
We’re always shown space travel as something taken for granted in the future alongside aliens, light-speed travel and laser rifles, but just how plausible is it to assume that we’ll be travelling the vast expanses of space on a daily basis?
With a number of advances, humanity is gradually stepping out further and further into the reaches of space. The International Space Station now orbits our earth, sending back high-quality images and information to assist us with our quest to explore the stars.
With Virgin Galactic aiming to make small-scale space exploration a possibility to the consumer, perhaps we’re not as far off as it seems?
Unfortunately, we’ve still got a long way to go.
So far, our furthest leap into the universe has been via the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2, unmanned probes that still hurtle through the expanse sending back data which can actually be viewed in real time if you follow this link.
With this in mind however, humans have only been able to get as far as the moon to date, but with so many advances occurring in the field of space exploration, who knows what the future will hold.
With so many different advances in technology, who knows if we’re really as far away from the sci-fi futures depicted in games.
One thing’s for sure though, I hope our future isn’t violent as what I’ve seen in Cyberpunk!