12 Apr 2009
Ten years ago, the Matrix film trilogy described a future in which reality perceived by humans is only a simulated reality created by sentient machines. Although the Cyberpunk genre offers room for much more stories about virtual worlds, only a few have appeared which are as brilliant, creative, or influential.
One exception are the Otherland books written by Tad Williams. And based on the successful Otherland novels, there is a new massively multiplayer online game (MMO) coming out soon. Like the Matrix it deals heavily with the interplay of the virtual and the real. In the world of Otherland, the ultimate status symbols of the super-rich are their own personal virtual realities, tailored to their interests and specifications. These private virtual worlds are populated by AI and unwitting humans who don’t know that what they’re experiencing isn’t real.
Maybe stuff for a good film, too? The major elements which made the Matrix interesting are here: the interplay of the virtual and the real, the transitions between one world and another (for instance being trapped into a virtual reality while falling into a coma in another), and elements of mystery, adventure, suspense and wonder. I’m curious about it.