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This is my entry for the Bitmob Writing Challenge
Gaming has become one of the world’s biggest cultural influences. Modern Warfare 3 made more money than Avatar; Obama is playing Deadly Premonition this very second and, in Nova Scotia, a sect calling themselves Portalists have tattooed their mouths blue and their assholes orange. Gaming could soon become the dominant cultural force in the world.
But can anyone accurately predict how gaming will affect our cultural future? Surely anyone capable of such feats of foresight would have to be a scientist, a futurist and a mind-gangster.
I, of course, am all three. Using maths, a big telescope and by ingesting vast amounts of human adrenaline glands I have seen the future of our world (and many others). Here are some notable forthcoming events:
2015 – A remastered version of Assassin’s Creed is released with Kinect support. The game receives negative media attention when a player, trying frantically to push an in-game beggar, accidentally shoves a friend through a window.
2016 – Jeff Jeffries becomes the first gamer to successfully sue a gaming website over score disparity. His claim against velvetgamer.com that Zombie Taxi should have been awarded a higher score than the 9.1 it received "because it was loads better than Stab Wounds and that got a 9.2" was, surprisingly, supported in court. The site is forced to pay $3.1 million to Jeffries for misleading information and emotional distress. Fearing similar lawsuits, other games sites resort to poetry in place of reviews to avoid the appearance of commenting on the quality of games.
2017 – A “real-life Master Chief” guests on the The Tonight Show, SportsCenter and the Cheers reboot.
2019 – An East Asian dictator has to be stopped at gunpoint from firing a nuclear weapon. The dictator blames his actions on the recent release of Fallout 5. He is given community service.
2020 – GTA 8 is released. Politicians, sensing a high-rate of work absence due to its release, had pressured the game's developer into adding real-world internet access to encourage players into working from within the game. Despite this, a number of countries plummet into economic crisis. An in-game podcast predicts this collapse.
2025 – Activision North’s Call of Duty release forgoes its modern warfare theme and releases a retro combat game involving human soldiers and machine guns.
2031 – Gabe Newell uses the imminent release of Half-Life 2: Episode 3 to become Free World President. Gamers riot when they discover that the game is a four-minute long rhythm challenge in which players make the G-Man dance to a calypso tune
2035 – The Xbox NuLife console gives players the option to upload themselves to Gametropolis, a digital 'living centre', irreversibly leaving their physical bodies. In an ironic twist, a bug in an Xbox Live update destroys both the digital and flesh versions of a number of gamers. The bug also causes certain players to upload themselves into the walls and floors of Gametropolis, where they are taken advantage of by 'trolls' and 'griefers'. Microsony developers are arrested on 74 counts of murder and 18 counts of bad programming.