Surrogates

What would happen if you could die playing World of Warcraft? I mean dying in the real life.
What would happen if your experience in Second Life is as real as the real life?
What would happen if you could live your Second Life without worrying about the physical consequences of your actions, since you’re at home sprawled on a comfortable armchair?

How would society change if everyone were living through a Surrogate?

These are some of the questions that are at the core of Surrogates, a movie released in September 2009 (in Italy it will arrive in January 2010), directed by Jonathan Mostow, starring Bruce Willis.  The movie is based on a comic book series, which I haven’t read and discovered right now.

The movie softly touches on the topics raised by the questions I wrote at the top, but mainly concentrates on the intricacies of the police plot and the action. There is this new weapon that can kill the real person directing a surrogate and this can pose serious threats to the society that has been built. Crime rate was almost non-existent since who would harm a surrogate if the person behind it would be left unharmed? Furthermore, in the middle of the movie, it is also made quite clear how the crime can be controlled via a backdoor into every surrogate.

Most interesting is wondering how surrogate-life changes interpersonal relationship. It seems that they become much more utilitarian, since you know you are dealing through a machine with a machine. Sexual freedom is at its maximum and everyone is beautiful and fit, indeed they can choose how to be, a man can choose to be woman and vice versa.

Can we already spot some of these issues in our society? To me it seems that reality is becoming more and more virtual and that we tend to experience it a posteriori through the representation of it, that is via photography, video and words. Add to the mix the Facebook phenomenon and I hope you understand what I am talking about.
How many of you would like to have a surrogate to use in certain situations?

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