For my paper, I argued the idea that in the novel “Odds Against Tomorrow,” Mitchell’s contact with data is dehumanizing him. Throughout, the book there are several instances where Mitchell is described as an “automaton” or “android,” but this idea is never fully fleshed out in the story. In my argument, I noted his inability throughout the novel to feel feelings beyond that of fear. I also pointed out that for Mitchell there seems to be no continuum; he can either obsessed with something or totally apathetic to it, and thus, he is binary much like a computer. This and other similar topics led me to the conclusion that Mitchell becomes less human when he calculates his worst case scenarios, and this occurs again later, when he attempts to build the perfect world, because he does so with data.
For Part 2, I created a proof of concept for a game similar to Frotz. Frotz is an interactive fiction app, that is controlled by the users’ typed commands. The users progress through a story (there are many) using only words.
Frotz can be found here: http://frotz.sourceforge.net/
For my game, however things are little different, in that the character is a futurist and they have to study data, at their own risk. Studying data will dehumanize the character, and the character’s view of the world will get more and more boring as the character’s humanity falls down. Studying data, however, is the only source of income for the player…