by Gregor Stronach
I can remember the great leaps forward in technology that have occurred in my lifetime - calculators that played games, Nintendo Game and Watch machines (hopelessly impractical for telling the time, by the way, as battery life was severely limited by playing the games), and digital watches that played games (which, much like the Nintendo games, were just crappy). And then TV Tennis came along, and shook the globe to its core.
Homes around the world reverberated to the sounds of ultra-competitive fathers proving mastery of hand-eye co-ordination over their infant children. There were screams as spouses began to beat seven shades of shit out of each other, following allegations of cheating, reprogramming and - shock-horror - handset tampering.
Tampering with the handsets to ensure victory was no easy feat. Early attempts included the addition of substances such as boiling water and even gin to adversely effect the operation of the controllers, sending TV Tennis combatants sailing to the top of the screen, never to return after each serve took place. I personally was stabbed with a butter knife by an angry sibling following one episode of tampering. Thankfully, the knife struck a rib, and the world was spared another premature funeral.
As the world has become a more technologically savvy place, it seems odd that the great leaps and bounds in software and hardware technology have been poured into two places first - billion dollar defence systems and multi-billion dollar gaming console empires.
Sony, once famous for bad transistor radios and hellishly good cocaine parties at its record label headquarters, has emerged as the force to be reckoned with. Even the world’s richest man, with a personal army of socially dysfunctional four-eyed nerds, can’t produce a better gaming system than the lovely, lovely people at Sony.
Why am I being so nice to Sony? Have I sold out to the big dollar corporation? Or am I just trying as hard as I can to get a free Playstation 2?
No...it’s fear that’s driving me today. I know that Sony has secretly been spending billions and trillions on getting some of the ideas from its computer games off our TV screens, and into our defence budgets. It’s a natural progression from Sony Corp to Sony Corps.
I can see it now. If the technology isn’t frightening enough, then picture this: The battle has been fought and won by the world’s computers. The Microsoft X-Box has been body-slammed from the top rope by Playstation, with Nintendo relegated to waterboy for the event.
But when the real war starts - the ground war to mop up the stragglers - the future is very real and very scary. Hoards of teenagers with wide eyes, astonishing reflexes, hand-eye co-ordination and over-developed thumbs will take to the streets in a orgy of looting, shooting and driving fast cars.
And I’ll be there, in the front line, my Lamborghini Diablo idling effortlessly at the lights, waiting to prove that it is me, and only me, who can be the true champion of the world. I will, of course, be armed with the latest in high-powered miniaturised assault weaponry, most of it mounted somewhere on the vehicle. Add to this a thumping soundtrack of my own creation, and the world is thus destined to be my oyster. Join me, my gaming-mad brothers and sisters.
This revolution will not be televised. This revolution has been live.
Gregor Stronach is an avid gardener.