Game Development Reference
Jude's gaming chair opened above her, automatically withdrawing the
brain-computer interface from her skull. She sat up. The room was dark,
but Jude could still read the clock on the wall. It was December 31, 2151.
It had been nine years since she started playing. During that time,
Jude had conquered empires, grown families, and built towers to the
heavens, all in the unreal realm of the computer. She would have stayed in
the system, but something was wrong. Multiplayer had stopped working.
There was nobody to brag to; nobody to create with. She'd searched the
global gaming network and not connected with a single other player. She
hated leaving the computer world, but she had to fix this.
The room was dark and dusty. Looking around the gaming café, she
saw rows of other chairs stretching away from her on either side. Peering
through the portholes on the nearest ones, she could see the occupants.
All of them were aged, with gray hair and liver spots. All of them were
Jude thought for a moment and lay back down in her chair. It folded
around her in a steel embrace, gently cradling her into unconsciousness.
MOST OF US ASSUME that we want things because they make us feel good.
At first this view doesn't even look like an opinion. Of course we want
pleasure. How else could it be?
When scientists first started studying pleasure, their results seemed
to confirm this. Back in the 1950s, James Olds, then a researcher at McGill
University in Montreal, wanted to see how a jolt of electricity to the brain
would affect behavior. To find out, he ran a thin wire into a rat's brain and
connected it to a lever inside the cage. When the rat pushed the lever, it
would get a pulse of electricity through the wire, straight to the cerebrum.
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