AI Up Mi Duck: An Interactive Fiction Game Exploring … – LeftLion

Posted: November 13, 2023 at 4:34 am

Lee Vitaht is a youth from Tip Valley, Nottingham, a slum area where the unemployed are forced to live until society can find a use for them. One day he enters a competition to appear on the Reality TV programme Live Island with the chance to win immortality. Lee Vitaht would love to live forever so he can finally witness Forest win the Prem and possibly see the Broadmarsh Centre flattened. But as Reality TV host Android Marr explains, we work in immortality, not miracles.

AI Up Mi Duck is an interactive fiction game that can be downloaded from It explores the impact of technology on our lives and issues of transhumanism - the idea that we can somehow become untethered from our flesh and live forever. Nobody is quite sure exactly what transhumanism means or how it will work, but its got a lot of people interested and generated a load of cults, with Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines (2000), the alpha prophet.

The hope is that emerging technologies such as genetic engineering, AI, cryonics, and nanotechnology can somehow help humans stop ageing and relegate death as a twentieth century inconvenience. One of the most extreme versions of this ideal is that our consciousness can be downloaded and rebooted into some kind of external mainframe computer. Lets just hope the broadband connection is stronger than my GiffGaff connection. But consciousness is not a tangible thing like a foot or finger and so whether you can download something that is difficult to define or locate is a bit of a challenge.

To help me research the game, I read Matt OConnells To be a Machine (2017), and discovered that the idea of connecting ourselves to a wider network may not be that far fetched. The body, after all, is a series of electrical circuits. If this could be emulated somehow, it would completely redefine what it means to be human. For those who cant wait for such innovations, fear not. You can get your frozen corpse stored in a massive cryogenic warehouse in the hope that one day medicine and technology will be able to reanimate the brain, thereby providing a second chance at life. Then theres the hubris of the life hack brigade who think that a strict diet and exercise will help prolong life. If getting up at four oclock in the morning every day to do 1,000 press-ups while bingeing on raw food is the key to eternal life, its a no from me. Its the quality rather than the quantity of life that matters.

In writing this game with animation students from Confetti, one thing became abundantly clear: I dont want to live forever. It would be tedious. Theres only so many times you can get Homer Simpson socks for Christmas or watch fireworks over Trent Bridge before the novelty wears off. Theres something humbling about coming to terms with your mortality that helps you appreciate your allotted three score years and ten.

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AI Up Mi Duck: An Interactive Fiction Game Exploring ... - LeftLion

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