Real Live Video Games

In chapter 11, the section titled “Radio,” I was struck by the following passage: 

“Inside the towers are the searchlights, the monitor videocams, the loudspeakers, the controls for locking the gates, the tear-gas nozzles, the long-range sprayguns. Yes, here are the screens, here are the controls: find the target, zero in on it, push the button. You never needed to see the actual results, the splatter and fizzle, not in the flesh”

Excerpt From, Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood,

As I was growing up, many criticized violent video games due to a belief that they would result in the player having a penchant for real  violence. Now, with drone strikes, it’s hard not to wonder if there was some truth in the concern.

I can’t help but wonder how much further this will go in my son’s life—with the computer hacking, online social shaming, and ever increasing use of remote methods for enacting violence. There is such a separation between those who would create harm and those who are harmed.  

It seems to be Atwood makes use of her chosen genre, Speculative Fiction, in a compelling manner. She is asking us to face up to the likely, not only possible, consequences of our current techno-scientific trajectories.