the voluntary matrix…

remember the Matrix? I love that film. But I always kinda thought one would be a little bit… miffed, if one of those guys unplugged you from the matrix. I mean, if they had told Neo that he was gonna be eating gruel and then, well, dying shortly afterwards… he might have been a little less eager.In any case, the machines and the humans fought, and the machines won, and the humans got to be little energizer bunnies for the machines. But the point was, we lost the war.

Where is this going?

well, I just saw the trailer for World of Warcraft, er… something about a lich king. The new expansion.

Now, I’ve never played World of Warcraft, and this video blew me away. I know, I don’t play games much, so I might be easily impressed. But, its pretty, theres heaps to do, the whole world looks like its moving, and you can be whoever you want to be!

so its no surprise that its got 8million players. People paying to belong to a voluntary ‘matrix’.

Where IS this going?

Ok. I haven’t got kids. But for all you who do… Imagine. World of Warcraft 2010. Or whatever that thing will be. Heaps better graphics, more people, more things to do, etc. etc. Or WOW 2020.

Imagine, a child. Imagine a world where you can be a hero, with less physical exertion than walking to the toilet. Where you meet people from all over the ‘world’ (whatever that word means) without getting off your chair. Where you play with adults and children and who knows what. Where all your complaints about being a child vanish.

Why wouldnt you want to play? Why wouldnt you want to spend all your spare time there?

The world coming up offers unique challenges to parents. Convincing your children that they shouldn’t play computer games all day when they are so amazing. Convincing them that falling off a bike is a better thing to do than slaying the dread dragon Grazath (I made that name up, but it is a cool name for a dragon!).

It doesnt sound so hard. We know that riding a bike is better than some computer game. But then, you hear that little childs voice that we all have, that never went away through our adult life. You know the one, and you know the question.


Can you honestly say that learning to ride a bike will be more use than making virtual connections in a game? Learning calculus is better than learning to interact with the new social mediums? Playing real sport is more use than learning to be great at starcraft (which is a paid sport in korea) ?

And what will it be like in 2020, when the babies of today are teens? Given moores law, mixed with human imagination?

What do you tell them?

the voluntary matrix…

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