[ExI] The point of emotions

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Apr 23 02:44:44 UTC 2008

> Damien Broderick
> Subject: Re: [ExI] The point of emotions
> >People do all sorts of terrible things to characters in 
> >computer games because they don't believe they have feelings... Stathis
> Any such discussion risks lurching into essentialism. 
> Arguably sadistic is as sadistic does... Damien Broderick

This reminds me of one of the very early computer games.  It worked on the
Apple 2, and dates back to the time before the American hostages were
released, so that would put it between November 79 and January 81.  In that
game, one flew a combat SAR helicopter and dropped a bomb on the door of a
prison, at which time the hostages would stream out and run towards your
helicopter.  You could pick them up, but when you dropped down, the Iranians
would shoot at you and the hostages, who were slain in large numbers.  The
hostages would run after your chopper and wave.  The score was the
percentage of the fifty one could rescue.

The graphics were awesome for the standards of the day, but eventually I
found the game too disturbing to play, for one constantly had to make
life-or-death decisions: sacrifice these two in order to rescue those three,
etc.  That was the first time I had anything resembling sympathy for
characters in a computer game.

Seems to me we could use this phenom to the advantage of humanity somehow:
sympathy for simulated beings used for spreading peace and making money.



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