Tuesday, 23 October 2007
We hear a lot about how bad video games are, and how much they corrupt children. All of that is about to change. Soon they'll be teaching gaming in schools, and the ability to get a high score on Grand Theft Auto will be a young person's passport to the career of their choice.
I'm referring to the news that the US Army plan to put robots in place of soldiers on the front line. Of course, they'll need soldiers to control the robots, but eventually I imagine they'll be able to do this from the comfort of their own homes. No longer will the army be looking for people who can march, or keep their uniforms clean, or endure other physical hardships. No, basic training will involve 1000 hours on a Wii shooting imaginary Iraqis, or terrorists, or something.
But why should soldiers get to be the only ones to turn work into a video game? I'm sure that robots at work will become much more widespread.
First of all will be firemen, at least once they've worked out how to make the robot climb up ladders (at the moment it trundles along on caterpillar tracks). I once played that game where someone was throwing babies out of a burning tower block, and you had to catch them, so when the time comes I might apply.
Other dangerous professions, such as policemen and teachers will follow. No-one will misbehave at school when their teacher is a combat robot armed with a machine gun. If I'd realised that was how things were going to turn out I'd have become a teacher after all.
Next to be replaced will be people who do unpleasant jobs, for example Portaloo emptiers at work sites. In the interests of worker's morale, they will presumably use robots more like the one in the picture to replace any hot babes that might currently do this job.
There are already robot surgeons in development. They won't have shaky hands, but for all you know the person driving might have gone straight from fighting Ninjas to performing open-heart surgery.
What does this mean for you? It means you'd better start getting into this video game lark (if you don't already), or face the double shame of being replaced by a robot and a spotty nerd.
You have been warned!