If you're like me, you play video games to escape from real life... which is kind of pointless in my case since my job involves playing video games and writing about them. You, however, probably have a real job with like pens and keycards and bosses that aren't willing to reimburse you for the steampunk sex toys you bought for research purposes only! In your case, though, games are probably a welcome distraction.
I wouldn't hold onto that escapism too hard if I were you because plenty of video games are coming to life as we speak thanks to a combination of innovation, greed, and the sum total of fucks in the world plunging at an alarming rate. Sure, some of it is good news. Want to leap like Mario? $299 is all you need. How about a stealth suit from the Metal Gear Solid games? Don't worry, Harvard is working on it right now.
Then again, always remember that Slayer was right and God hates us all. Science and industry aren't just concentrating on the bringing the fun parts of video games to life. Nope, some of the worst parts of video game culture are unfolding all around us. Sure, the Slender Man isn't real and the inspiration for Silent Hill can only kill you with toxic gas instead of rape giants with mega knives, but there's plenty of horror crawling out of the console into your living room. Like...
Google is Turning into Shinra from Final Fantasy VII
Final Fatansy VII is notable because it was the first game in the series where the initial enemy wasn't a despot or sudden supernatural evil, it was a corporation. Specifically, it was the Shinra corporation, an energy company that had developed a new power source called Mako which was drained directly from the planet. After becoming the main or only provider of electric power in the world, they had essentially overthrown all government, leaving puppets in their place, while they wielded absolute power.
You know who else is getting into the energy business? The $80 billion information giant Google. The company got into solar energy big in 2006, when it started building massive solar power panels to provide electricity for its servers. The project was the largest corporate solar power hub in the United States. Just last year they began investing nearly a billion dollars into various forms of renewable energy.
So what, right? They're just doing it in order to reap the publicity benefits of going green and provide themselves with free energy. Maybe, but in 2010 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Google the right to sell the energy they produce, though they have not yet started doing so.
Admittedly, the amount of money that Google is spending on energy is a fraction of what the federal government is spending, although that is rapidly changing. In the wake of the Solyndra bankruptcy the federal subsidy of the solar industry and green energy in general is under attack. Should generating such reserves prove a profitable business for Google, they would be a serious national competitor for power.
I guess it's a good thing that their competition isn't under extreme stress, like hydraulic fracturing for natural gas being hounded for potentially damaging drinking water or a nuclear power threatening to close the conduit for 20 percent of the world's oil. We certainly wouldn't want our power supply to be dominated by a company that essentially already knows every single move you make online.