Ones and Zeros Taking over the World

Gaming has become a sport of sorts with millions of gamers (both video and computer) logging into virtual worlds every day.  Artificial Intelligence helps develop a gamer’s experiences and that virtual world has come a long way since the days of Super Mario Brothers.

The Verge has reported on the effects of the zeros and ones that create the myriad of virtual worlds in gaming.  Just like in the movie The Matrix, zeros and ones are what every computer program are compiled of.  With all the technological advances, the world is basically run by computer programs and so in effect zeros and ones rule the world.

AI expert and president of AI design consultant Intrinsic Algorithm, David Mark claims that the artificial intelligence systems involved in gaming are like 2-year-olds, “We can’t create psychology in our characters,” he told a gathering of game developers.   “They don’t have psychology because they are zeroes and ones.”

Here are some startling statistics about the impact of just zeros and ones from ESRB Entertainment Software; the average age of video game purchasers is 39.  The average number of years an adult gamer has been playing is 12.  In 2010, the average gamer spent 8 hours a week playing games (and that is just the average).

Below is a video created by psychologists Fritz Heider and Mary-Ann Simmel in the 1940s to explore the “attribution of causality.”  The short video shows two animated triangles, an animated circle and a box. There was no audio, just the crude line drawings moving around.

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“In the absence of defining information people project what they believe should be there,” Mark said, which is the key to making gamers feel like they are in real world scenarios.

“It’s really just two triangles, a circle and some lines,” Mark pointed out.  He goes on to state that, “People are emotional…They want to engage with emotional characters.  They will often engage their own psychology to do that. They will assume causality and infer narrative.”

One last statistic to leave you with: the gaming industries’ revenue for 2009 was a whooping $10.5 billion dollars.  This might beg the question for some: how can there be so many hungry and homeless Americans?  The answer is simply Capitalism.  It is America’s glory and perhaps some of our demise.

This is why many Americans do and should care about ones and zeros: not only do they create the convenience of  modern life, they are also the money makers.

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