Sunday, February 19, 2012

LCD LSD - 5 Cyberdelic Xbox360 Video Games

Visionary psychonaut Terence McKenna once said the technological singularity would be like entering a new dimension of reality, and through the repeated dissolving and reconstitution of one's personality can we prepare for this paradigm shift. He did his psychedelics "preferably alone, in nature." But that was in 1999, and today in 2012 we have HD video games so bizarre, immersive, and visually stimulating they might just send you trippin'
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This post is not suggesting technology can replace nature, nor is it suggesting drug use, or even the use of the following games below.

I grew up in the 80's. Born in 1979; it was a perfect time to grow up learning first hand what exponential growth looks like. The Atari 2600 was affordable, and video games had come home. This is the most advanced piece of technology many Americans had ever experienced. It was amazing. But I also had a ColecoVision, and this was my first lesson; not all technologies are equally powerful. What would come next?

Nintendo 8-bit
For those who remember, this was the first real next generation system. Super Mario Bros. even out-shines the Atari 2600 platformer masterpiece Pitfall!As I stomped out my first "Goomba" my friend told me the game was 8 bits. What does that mean? How many bits where in my aging 2600 and ColecoVision, I wondered.

Fast forward to 1992. I was at my local bodega with a fistful of quarters. School was out, and I had a fight to pick. Enter Street Fighter II.  The game amazed a generation of gamers.  Awestruck in the 16bit era- what would games look like when I grew up? I imagined that there would be a nearly infinite number of animations, that they would have taken on a somewhat cartoon like appearance and unpredictability. For what my pea sized adolescent brain could conceive at the time, I think I was pretty accurate, albeit in a very different way.

So now it's 2012, what's next?  Augmented reality contacts in our eyeballs, that's what's next, and it's coming as soon as 2014. It will be a tremendously psychedelic- a mini singularity in itself that will transform the way we directly perceive the world around us. Until then, we have natural biological eyes, but what can be experienced is already getting pretty trippy. Play these following games at your own risk. For psychedelic transhumanist consumption only!
Space Giraffe (XBLA)

This game is sort of like a DMT trip. It's a dimension of its own. Some critics blast the games visuals as distracting. They need realize one thing: to perceive through the psychedelic visuals of the game requires a disassociated mind state. So pick your poison and find out what works for you!  For those who have played Tempest 2000, this is not the same, the bullying concept makes sense from an evolutionary concept. Play it. It's most artistic video game in history.

Techno Kitten Adventure and
Nyan Cat Adventure (XBLI)
Techno Kitten Adventure and its spiritual Nyan Cat Adventure do more than psychedelic justice to the internet meme it was born of. Both games feature wonderfully joint smoking friendly one-button gameplay. One-button gameplay sound too simple? Just fly into one of those onscreen pills and you may not even be able to push that one button anymore. This is what Mario's magic mushroom was supposed to be! If there was one game which should come with an overly visual warning, Nyan Cat Adventure is it.
Phase Runner (XBLI)

Nyan Cat Adventure might send you on a bad trip with those sizurdelic visuals, but alas, there is a way back to calm psychedelic digital bliss. Take a break in the floating world of Phase Runner. The game uses your avatar as you just run in a very psychedelic, yet pleasing atmosphere. A feel good game. We'd love to see a sequel.
Child of Eden (Kinect)

It's like a psychedelic dual stick shooter, but you use your arms instead of game sticks. Blow away glowing bits of abstract enemies designed to look like a computer virus all inside evolutionary themed virtual environments. That's as cool as it gets.

Deepak Chopra's Leela (Kinect)

This is where things get interesting. The Kinect can be a cyberdelic experience playing regular family games like Fruit Ninja. But many Kinect games might have you exhausted after just one or two game sessions. Play Leela to unwind and flow. This is more of a introspective meditative experience than a game. Leela, unlike other Kinect games, won't have you breathing heavy, however it is actually sensitive enough to detect your breathing, how about that for technological intimacy? In an interview about the game Deepak Chopra said technology is an unstoppable force. He is right, and it's time we get comfortable, peaceful, and intimate with our technologies, because the exponential wave is starting to look like a tsunami. And I plan to surf it all the way to transcendence.

Me and video games, we grew up together. They probably taught me more about where our man/machine civilization is headed than anything else. For Terence McKenna nature was the environment to experience psychedelic visions of the future. For me, I prefer to be amongst the lifeforms of 2012 -- TECHNOLOGY.

I have my own cyberdelic video game dream. A quantum video game. I'ts simple; use a quantum random bit generator to produce "random" parts in the game: environment creation, or when/where enemies appear. If we conscious humans are collapsing reality by observation, why not reduce that observational collapse to one quantum bit and see what happens in a game environment. We would be playing with the measurement problem. What interesting effects might arise? In a many worlds hypothesis reading a quantum bit once will split reality into both possibilities. Playing a quantum game would produce a cascading, exponentially growing, increase of splits, all which are influencing a rather large observer.

If you have any psychedelic game experiences of your own, please do share!

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