Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Barring the Gates of Hell

'Circe Totally Pwning Odysseus at Immortal Wombat 5, D00d!', by John William WaterhouseMicrosoft have a patent application out for their own remote motion controller, which they’re calling the Magic Wand. No doubt we, and Wii, shall find out presently just how pixie-dusty it really is. However, they claim to have backed off on the old grail-quest for easy translation of real people’s features onto gaming characters - not out of technical difficulty, natch, but because of the dreadful danger of such power in the wrong hands:

"There was talk, a long time ago, about mapping people's faces on to characters," said Mr Ogden.

"However, there were concerns that people would stick real faces on it - such as Gordon Brown - and then spend all day shooting them. The world wasn't ready for that."

My first thought was that a claim of social responsibility is a lot easier than the shipping of a cool new toy.

My second was, that if their reasons were as represented, it is not a good outlook when whole technologies are suppressed for fear the fickle mob will disrespect politicians with them.

Actually, my personal observation suggests that this part of the world is just about exactly ready for the ability in question. But I admit that this displays a rather unattractive facet of human nature, and counsel that dartboard manufacturers voluntarily withdraw their products from sale forthwith, on similarly conscientious grounds.

But my third thought remembers that we are talking about all-beloved Microsoft, and immediately suspects them of speaking virtually the whole truth.

Save only that Gordon Brown’s might not be the image whose universal abuse they cannot bear to contemplate...

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