Metal Gear Solid Predicted the A.I. Takeover of the Internet 20 Years Ago
Written by Otaku Apologist
If you guys missed it, since around 2020, we’ve all been living in a technocratic dystopia. Free speech on the internet is dead as voicing any dissenting viewpoints gets your livelihood destroyed, every citizen’s online activities are under constant surveillance, political dissent is uprooted with extreme prejudice, governments are practically above criticism if they’re liberal progressive, the media is a tool of the billionaire class, we have no rights, no freedom, we can’t criticize government science or ask questions. A sweeping wave of censorship managed by artificial intelligence allowing a totalitarian grip on information. Meanwhile, police will arrest you over posts on Twitter or Facebook.
Discreetly and without much fanfare, we’ve transitioned from being liberal democracies into a controlled transnational system where information flow is managed by a handful of multinational corporations and their political allies. And, apparently, the Japanese authors behind Metal Gear Solid 2 had the foresight to write an entire storyline about this two decades ago.
Motherfucking Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, published in 2001 for Sony Playstation 2, had an epic 15-minute conversation that taps into many of the philosophical questions that have sprung up in the information era: The problem of fake news, ideological echo chambers, media bias, how the flaws of human nature manifest in the online space. This game went balls deep in philosophy.
What do you think? What can we do to improve the quality of internet conversations? The problem in my view comes down to the fact that we’re all very bad at having conversations, and our current main platforms for it, such as Twitter and Facebook aren’t doing a very good job at facilitating the very important conversations we need to be having to fix problems in our societies.
Like, if you ever tried to have a rational talk on Twitter with someone, it’s just not possible, because the word count per tweet is very low, you can’t contextualize your arguments enough, the other person will get upset at the condensed versions of your message. If you tell people to watch videos and read articles that would do your contextualizing for you, they’ll dismiss them, because your sources are on platforms whose political leanings clash with theirs. And it’s not just Twitter; go to any forums, any websites, any comments sections, it’s people arguing like screaming apes with half-assed facts, throwing ad hominems like monkeys slinging turds at each other.