Move over Dungeons and Dragons, the Singularity has its own nerd-tastic role playing game to thrill geeks everywhere. Eclipse Phase is a table top pen and paper RPG based on the concept of accelerating technologies changing our world. What happens when biotech, nanotech, and robotics start to reshape humanity? You get Transhumanism, the real life cultural and intellectual movement interested in how humans will transcend their current limitations. Eclipse Phase jumps on and rides the Transhumanism train to create a RPG that is partly speculative and partly based in real technology.
Your characters can reshape their DNA, upload into robot bodies, and even live forever by storing digital backup copies of themselves. Players use these characters to help save the world from a vast conspiracy set on destroying transhumanity. If you want to play you can purchase a starting guide for just $15. It’s all just a game, and it’s definitely a nerd-fest in the making, but Eclipse Phase looks cool and it highlights how exponentially growing technology is starting to effect our culture. After all, we are what we game.
We’ve seen various incarnations of the Transhumanism philosophy before. There are groups of like minded people that meet in various communities, and there’s plenty of art that explores the concept. Eclipse Phase fits into the trend very well. It’s a game for fun, but there’s the subtext that the technology under discussion could, and probably will, be available some day. After all, these speculative technologies have their roots in current developments. Ray Kurzweil discussed living forever through uploading your personality into a computer in the movie Transcendent Man, designer babies with perfect genes are around the corner, and people are already working on getting nanobots in the body. The fact that someone’s developed a game around these concepts just shows that they are in the public awareness at some level. Which is good. Accelerating technologies could lead to big changes in the global civilization in the next few decades. Maybe gaming about them now will help us deal with them later.