Monday, March 12, 2012

Thoughts on Quantic Dreams' "Kara"

In strictly modern American sense, reference to a procedure that brings forth a human fetus before it is ready to be born on its own time, normally to be killed off.
Other actual definitions: (to fail, cease, or stop at an early or premature stage), (to develop incompletely)

There's a chance you've heard of this tech demo at a recent video game convention, called "Kara," which literally creates a video game model as though a robot. Part by part, internally to externally. With every part brought to its being (I'll refer to "it" as "her" since she's being made into a female body anyway), a disembodied voice asks her to do certain things to see if she's working properly. When the voice asks her to tell the audience what she does, she makes a list of things she does... one of which involves being a sexual slave. When the production is complete, and she's having flesh color added to her being, and she gets a bra and panties, she finds out she's only a product, which shocks and dismays her. "I'm a product." The voice affirms it and asks what else could she have been.
"I thought-"
"You thought?"
Then the voice commands the production to disassemble her, which truly frightens her, and she asks why she's being taken apart, and the voice says that she wasn't designed to think, she was designed to do, and that thinking indicates she must have a glitch in her system, something that's unacceptable. Things finally come to a denouement when she yells out "I'M AFRAID!" All the equipment suddenly halts. She asks to be remade into what she was and the voice relents, even if reluctantly, and tells Kara to behave, that he doesn't want any customer complaints.
That whole film is 7 minutes long, and does more than just show off the latest CGI developments for video game development companies, it also has a deep story dealing with what life is. The video I watched, I noticed a lot of people comparing the short but deeply thoughtful story to the overly lengthy and very shallow storyline of the Twilight series. I won't say "Now I'm not saying..." because truth is, as much as I enjoy horror stories (including some vampire stories), I truly hate Twilight. I couldn't read even half of the first book, and could barely suffer watching the first three films. Why? Not just animation (it had good bits of cinematic techniques and technology), but the story is very shallow, to the point of a needless reduction and remake of vampires. Too much style, nowhere near enough substance for a horror fan (and occassional romance fan, I'll shamelessly admit) to enjoy. This seven-minute production seems to have referred not only to abortion, however. That line about being a "sex slave" brought to mind what people expect in pornography. Specific body styles, a certain look, the ability to say empty nothings, able to handle literally anything any number of men can do to them. If you've ever seen the movie Taxi Driver, I'll use a familiar line, "If you were happy, I wouldn't be able to use you." Jodie Foster's first film and she was a child prostitute (aka, an illegal prostitute being underage), and her pimp tells her that he can't use her if she enjoys being basically raped. There are many secrets the industry never wants revealed lest the industry comes to a halt- which is what the ex-stars wants to happen (including Shelley Lubben and Jenna Jameson, believe it or not, they've both got books outt here about the devastating reality they lived through), but we're all taught that, since they're human, they'll get over it and enjoy it, right? That's what all the movies say. What about when a robot is being designed to fulfill her "master's" wishes? And she becomes self-aware? Even having the ability to cry actual, liquid tears? Will we pay attention? Or still be, as I call it, "social robots"?
As I like to tell people when they question my faith, "I'd rather be a Jesus Freak than a social robot." This tech demo does illustrate mankind's selfishness and the contrast with people who don't want self-aware people.
Check it out, let me know what you think.

Oh, last note: if you think you can get onto David Cage (the director of Quantic Dreams) about the use of teh word "abort" in the tech demo, remember, he's not American, he's French, our hooker-loose standards of speech is horrendous compared to other languages.

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