Let's pretend for a moment. It's a few decades into the future. Society has continued on with the same routines. People still go to work, they still have their families and friends that are dear to them, and they still play video games. Maybe virtual reality has taken hold, and that's how the vast majority of games are played. Perhaps holograms have finally become the norm, and every household and apartment across the world has a holodeck where we can play games in real space and time with real costumes and weapons. No matter how we play video games in the future, there's problem that will still remain. We can only truly experience them for the first time once.
Sure we can replay games over and over, following different paths that lead to different results. Oftentimes these new endings are ones we haven't seen before. But what happens when you exhaust all those plotlines and endings? What happens when you've truly experienced everything a game has to offer? We can obviously continue to play it and reap the benefits from the nostalgia trip we get from it, but we'll never again experience that sensation from the first time. That's what other new games are for, right? Just move on to the next title! But what if we could fix that?
Say we're in a future where people have started to or already completely unlocked the mysteries of the human brain. We can go into memory banks and toy around with things however we'd like. Maybe we pop on a couple of sensors onto our temples and can pick out all these little moments from our favorite game. It could be like deleting photos from your cell phone to make room for memories. Maybe in the future we can delete memories to make room for new ones. Or for some of us, to replace them with similar ones that we just wanted to feel all over again.
I'm picturing it now. I've entered a memory clinic. They seat me in the chair and attach all their fancy wires and systems. The doctors ask me specifically what I'd like erased. I tell them that I don't want to remember any of the times I played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. “That's all?” the doctor queries, having most likely expected me to ask for the removal of some painful childhood memories or adult crises. “That's all.” I respond with a smile.
Little does the doctor know, I have a (now) old school copy of Skyrim booted up on my home system with a note attached to it. The note simply reads, “Treat yo' self,” another indication of my age. All that matters to me is that I'll be able to experience my favorite game like I've never played it before. The doctor agrees to start the procedure, which passes by in a flash. As I leave, I can't exactly recall what I went in there for, but the receptionist assures me that the feeling will pass.
When I get home, I smirk at the silly note I've written myself on my television set. When I glance past it, the words “Skyrim” and a gothic looking logo stare back at me. I can't help but think this looks interesting, and I sit down and begin to play. A vast grin spreads across my face as I can't help but realize I might be playing this game for quite some time...
If there was a chance to selectively delete your memory and play a game as if it was your first time, which title would you choose? Maybe you would choose more than one?! I'd love to hear your choices in the comments below!