A videogame company is asking the Internet what achievements of mankind should be recorded forever in space. Seriously. NCSoft, the people behind MMORPG Tabula Rasa, are funding “Operation Immortality” – an effort to digitally record evidence of mankind in a safe location, and that doesn’t even sound like science fiction. It sounds like science fiction parody.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that the Internet can’t be trusted to tie its virtual shoelaces without starting screaming at itself and posting porn images. Don’t be surprised when the digital drive, potentially the last record of everything we’ve ever achieved, deletes Mozart’s concertos to make room for a high res video of the Star Wars kid set to Naruto music.
This could all be a cunning strategy to save the Earth – in Tabula Rasa humanity is almost annihilated by a hostile race, and shooting this software into space might be a cunning plan to convince the we aren’t worth the hassle. Or if they fill it with 4chan material, that we’re too dangerous to risk contacting. In which case we at Tech Cult sincerely thank Richard Garriott and officially forgive him for making the same damn game ten times back in the day.
If it isn’t, though, it’s the cruelest prank ever to be played. Imagine the scene: two spacesuited explorers from a far-off star surveying the blackened ruins of a wasted planet. They find a sealed pod, a container from the past of this once-thriving world, and carefully activate it to rescue the wisdom of this doomed orb. The screen flickers on, and
“Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and de-sert you!”