“In Time” for 2165?

There are a lot of writings based around the 2165 era. Generally it’s Cyberpunk novels such as Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and many more. The mix of “high tech and low life” is what make it interesting.

The movies of those times tended to start out weak, but now are less low-budget anime and more Hollywood budget with impressive stories. Along the way some of the groundbreaking cyberpunk/near future films are Akira, Ghost in the Shell, the Matrix movies and, of course, the immortal Blade Runner.

They combine together and bring to life 2165: SpyBattle. But they are not exactly, 2165 as we see it. SHG’s world of 2165 is a world of radical life and health extension. Everyone can live literally forever. Lose a limb and it regrows. Aging? Bah! That’s in old stories. Nanobots (very tiny robots) in your cells implement all the medical advances that humans and their increasingly powerful computer systems can imagine. Where it all goes wrong in 2165 is that resources are depleted; oceans are 200 ft taller. Outside the remaining fabulous cities are wastelands being scavenged by machines that harvest fewer and fewer resources.

When scarcity arises humans get nasty. Flamethrowing competition for a $100 buck nasty. Gang Battles for control of cities nasty. They also get bored. What we call extreme sports become everyday events. So Nuke Bike Gangs roam those wastelands looking for harvesting machines to pick off. Even in cities the rich dine well, but Agents hide amongst them stealing and backstabbing as they can.

Our 2165 is the logical outcome of the future based on certain factors. Anything that doesn’t seem logical has a logical background piece although the players may not see it (yet).

Cyberpunk, or at least some of the elements, are alive and well in Hollywood.

The movie “In Time” is about radical life extension, and assumes the birthrate doesn’t change, and so that new humans may only live a minimal amount of time. The amount of time you have is tracked, and that becomes a new form of wealth. It’s an interesting take on a story, but the narrative is full of holes. For example, why are 25-year-olds expected to add value in a world of sharp, weathly oldsters? Shouldn’t children’s time come off their parent’s allotment? There is a good write up of what the story leaves out in terms of logical radical life extension here.

Another new, potentially interesting and related high budget show is Terra Nova. It’s a weekly TV series about about a family from 2149 travelling back 85 million years to live with dinosaurs. It’s not what you think. Less Jurassic Park, or even Avatar and more Seventh Heaven with Dinosaurs in the background. Not good.

They did however create a top notch world in 2149 based on hard fact. It had a lot of 2165’s dystopian features, and did a fantatic job of putting the lack of resources into all parts of life in 2149. Well at least in the limited screen time 2149 actually received.

If you are interested in one of the books we view as a starting place of thought then check out the transhumanist Ray Kurzweil’s Age of Spiritual Machines. The basic ideas make sense, although the timeframes seem to be compacted to match his life time. Still the ideas are interesting and partially in play in Snakehead Games’ 2165.