MOP reader Oleg suggested today’s Daily Grind in the bowels of the mystified comments under our piece on Entropia Universe on Wednesday. In a nutshell, the Swedish studio MindArk is angling to use the game as a “potential reality where human consciousness can be inserted into virtual characters, making it possible to continue to live on as an Avatar well after their human body has passed” – in other words, to make us immortal, to let us live on in MMO Entropia.
The objection, as Oleg and other commenters noted, is that you might not actually want to live forever in Entropia. It’s a neo-capitalist technotopia where you cash in and out of the game to reality and back again. The game practically pioneered pay-to-win.
So let’s say MindArk actually pulls off the kind of sci-fi AI it’s saying it’s working on. Would you actually want to do it, and more importantly, which MMORPG would you want to live in – forever?
If you’re a fan of Altered Carbon or Westworld, you’re going to love what MindArk says it’s working on: The Entropia Universe
studio aims to use the game as a “potential reality where human consciousness can be inserted into virtual characters, making it possible to continue to live on as an Avatar well after their human body has passed.” I am not making this up.
“Although full realization of transplanted artificial intelligence is still some time away, MindArk is preparing to use advanced artificial intelligence data to create virtual avatars based on the consciousness of real people. MindArk is closely following the work of pioneering scientists within the field of ‘Mind Uploading’ which includes research from Princeton University, Oxford University and other institutions. The company is already testing new technology to create more realistic gaming experiences, and is establishing itself as a leader in the virtual space where digital consciousness can be paired with artificial intelligence. This will open new possibilities for what it means to live on after life is over.”
The plot of the novel and upcoming film Ready Player One is that you can win total control of a virtual world by having watched the original Ghostbusters film enough times. (Or something to that effect.) You cannot win total control of Entropia Universe by remembering enough about Voltron, but you do have an opportunity to take part in a big scavenger hunt across the game’s world with its newest event. And the reward is 50,000 Project Entropia Dollars, which can be cashed out for $5,000, as well as land deeds to bring in more revenue.
Of course, you are going to have to answer a series of fiendish riddles to obtain all of the three keys hidden in the game, so don’t expect to be able to just roll in and get $5,000 for knowing what Indiana Jones is afraid of (ferrets). But hey, if the idea of an in-game scavenger hunt across worlds is what you’re into, you’ll be able to fulfill exactly that desire when the riddles start on March 29th.
Wanna own a part of a moon? Entropia Universe is putting one up for sale, and you can even play on it this year.
“Arkadia Moon will orbit the popular Planet Arkadia within Entropia Universe allowing players to travel there by space craft,” says long-running MMO studio MindArk. “The new moon will be 64 square kilometers in size and features High Stakes mining opportunities, seven brand new creatures and new adventure missions.”
The equivalent of six bucks will get you one of the 200,000 deeds up for sale in prep for the moon patch coming later this year (third quarter, the PR says), though it’s slightly cheaper if you buy one earlier than later. And yes, you can go there on your spaceship.
And why on earth – er, on Entropia – would you buy this thing? You’ll recall that the 15-year-old Entropia Universe has a real-cash economy, meaning that if property in the game gains in value, you can cash out and actually turn a tidy profit. Here’s Entropia’s spiel:
If nothing else, Entropia Universe
seems always good for an eye-popping story about how much real-world money that players will spend on in-game goods (such as $5,000 invisible clothing
). Today’s “I can’t believe someone bought that” moment features one gamer who dropped over 51 Gs on a single weapon.
Yes, you read that right.
A character named Divinity Deth Undefined spent $51,796 for a Dub & McCormick Terminator shortly this past summer. This unique weapon was created in 2005 as a prize for a community video contest. The weapon has changed hands several times over the past decade and has been increasing in value ever since its debut. Curious what it looks like? We’ve got a video of the Terminator after the break.
Are you a fan of Entropia Universe
? Then you can –
I’m sorry, I can’t do this. I don’t know how in the world to contextualize this. I can understand the idea that Entropia Universe wants to sell a thing to its biggest fans for money. That’s fine. I can even almost understand the fact that it costs $5,000 out of the gate. Sure, that’s insane and a half, but we’re also dealing with a game that allows for a 1:1 exchange of its in-game currency for real money, that makes a certain amount of sense.
But then there’s the fact that it’s invisible, and at that point I officially don’t understand. $5,000 for a piece of clothing that you will not be able to see because that is its main selling point. I cannot contextualize this. I am sorry, everyone. Let’s just make this a memetic thing; the Grand Magistrix has power over time, I’m setting the clock back.
Is virtual reality just a fad that happens to come around every once in a while? Entropia Universe
is banking that it’s here to stay this time, as its studio is laying out plans to support and integrate VR in its virtual worlds.
Entropia Universe AB announced yesterday that it will be fully supporting several virtual reality devices, including Oculus Rift and SteamVR. The company also said that it’ll be helping developers dabbling in VR to figure out ways to successfully monetize these efforts.
Head of Business Development David Simmons says that the days of thinking of VR as a fad are officially over: “Virtual reality is on the threshold of becoming the great entertainment medium of the new millennium.”
[Source: PR Newswire