Because it has become so common and routine a presence in our everyday life, high technology has become expected technology to the average person.
Devices like Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers and transceivers, wireless telephones, Personal Digital Assistants, portable notebook and netbook computers, and self-contained computers so tiny they can be embedded in the knob of the gear shifter in our car are perceived by most people as innocuous objects that are more notable for their absence in our day-to-day life than they are for their presence in it.
Because we hardly ever think about them, it is easy to take for granted the marvels like voice-controlled Internet-connected GPS units in our cars that not only provide turn-by-turn directions at our request, but can also locate and direct us to the nearest petrol station, pharmacy, or restaurant serving burritos at 0300 in the morning.
Then there is our personal wireless phones that not only connect us to the global cellular and data communications network allowing everyone we know to contact us whenever they like from any phone, and serve double-duty as our primary source for mobile entertainment, allowing us to watch a baseball game, listen to music, or play a video game -- not to mention search the web, read and send email, or even send and receive a Fax while sitting in an airplane or driving in our car...
Computer-based tech is so widespread and so much a part of everyday life that it is no longer possible not to imagine the day when we transition from the external devices that represent cutting-edge tech today to internally embedded devices -- quite literally implanting computers inside of people -- when our visual cortex will will become the standard personal computing interface -- which will doubtlessly represent the bleeding-edge tech of tomorrow!
Do you still need proof? Well, modern prosthetic limbs have proven that the relationship between the organic and the manufactured can yield incredibly positive results, so why not CHIP technology?
It is no longer a question of "could" described with words like "maybe" as we must substitute "will" and "eventually" because the development path is easily sussed out, even by the non-tech inclined!
Embedded human-interface computing is the future, so the real question is this: when it gets here, will it be used for the greater social good, or will it end up being strictly a vehicle for corporate profit?
Is it destined to be yet another form of tech that the government will be forced to legislate and license in order to keep it from being abused? Or will it turn out to be the savior of mankind?
Questions like those were the sort of ethical and moral dilemmas posed by game developer Bullfrog Productions when it joined with publisher Electronic Art's to introduce its cult-classic video game Syndicate back in 1993 -- you know, the year before the Internet exploded in our faces?
Well, it is time to update that whole bucket of worms and re-examine the answers to questions that were never fully answered, because on February 21st, 2012, gamers will once again contemplate these questions and the hot-button moral issues that they spawn when they play through the Action-Adventure / Sci-Fi-shooter video game Syndicate that is, this time around, being developed by game studio Starbreeze, who is best known for the video games The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, 2004, The Darkness, 2007, The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, 2009, and now Syndicate in 2012.
Make no mistakes about it, there are only a handful of game studios that could do this project justice, and Starbreeze is clearly one of them, especially when you take into account that Syndicate 2012 will be to Syndicate 1993 its literal, spirtual, and actual successor and sequel as well as a rebook and remake. Sound confusing? Keep reading... [page-break] Syndicate was . . . Syndicate was an isometric real-time tactical game created by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts back in 1993. It was supposed to be the first title in the Syndicate series, and it was originally released on a wide variety of platforms into a much smaller game community that included the Acorn, Amiga, Mac, PC, Sega Mega Drive, SNES, and Atari Jaguar to name just a few of them.
Ironically most of those platforms no longer exist, and the ones that still do exist in forms so far removed from their 1993 technological appearances that, if you were to snatch a person from 1993 and thrust them ahead to 2012 to view their present forms, they would hardly recognize them!
There were originally big plans for the Syndicate series back in the day, because the people behind its development and creation believed that it had something important to say as well as the potential for being an incredibly entertaining game. But a combination of the explosion of the Internet and huge leaps in related tech rendered the concept in the game obsolete and unimaginative as a fantasy simply because there were so many fantastical things happening in real life that it suffered by comparison!
Today all that has changed -- and as is often the case what was old is new again -- but more important, the realization that the sort of tech that was originally speculated about in the game back then now has the very real potential to exist within the lifetime of the original gamers that played the game, that it is suddenly an important moral question once again!
. . . And Syndicate Is Set in 2069, Syndicate takes players into a dark and Machiavellian world where corporations are vying for market dominance with no government oversight. The people become the causality of this war as these corporations have the technology and power to influence the public via bio-chips installed in their heads.
Syndicate blends fast paced action and futuristic settings with innovative chip breach gameplay to provide a unique and brutal Sci-Fi-based First-Person Shooter experience unparalleled by anything presently available -- that we know about... Of course the Corporations could be hiding the existence of similar games, we're just saying...
In the game, players take on the role of Miles Kilo, Eurocorp's latest prototype agent; using DART 6 bio-chip technology implanted in their heads (seriously, just go with it), gamers can dilate down time, see through walls, breach the digital world and enemies around them using a variety of upgradable hacking mechanics, and do a lot of things that are just too cool to not have in the future!
Yes, it really does sound and feel a lot like Deus Ex on steroids, but if so it is certainly a Deus Ex with a solid dash of Johnny Mnemonic and a healthy dollop of a mixture of the average daydreams of Science-Fiction and Cyberpunk Masters Walter Jon Williams (Voice of the Whirlwind), Neal Stephenson (Snowcrash), and William Gibson (Neuromancer and Mona Lisa Overdrive) rounding out the action and the unreality of the reality.
If you cannot see the great potential that this one has you need to go back to the start of this news piece and read it again.
According to Electronic Arts. . . Gamers who reserve* Syndicate will receive The Executive Package at no extra charge, which includes unique perks for the game's deep 4-player co-op campaign.
Like every good executive, players with The Executive Package will be able to stand out amongst their friends as they flaunt their solid gold versions of all loadout guns, utilize golden dart vision, and showcase the executive gold Syndicate logos during co-op missions.
Syndicate will be available on February 24th, 2012 in Europe for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PC. Gaming Update will stay on top of the news for this game, but for more information and a plethora of trailers, concept art, screenshots, and other stuff you should check out the official game home page over at www.syndicate.ea.com.
Are you pumped up about the remake of Syndicate? Did you play the original? If you did you would be doing the GU community a great service by telling us what you thought of it and what you are looking forward to playing in the new version! Please comment below?