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"Ethics and Games: The Talos Principle" by Sherry Jones (Feb. 25, 2018)

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Feb. 25, 2018 - This is my philosophy and game studies presentation featuring the game, "The Talos Principle" (2014, 2015, 2017)," a first person puzzle game developed by Croteam, and published by Devolver Digital.

The presentation explores the ethics of "The Talos Principle" using the following theories (from philosophy and mythology): Transhumanism; Posthumanism; Posthuman; Determinism; Greek Mythology; Egyptian Mythology; Free Will.

Additional topics explored are: Artificial Intelligence; Extended Lifespan; Immortality; Consciousness.
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This presentation was featured at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Games and Simulations Network live webcast on Feb. 25, 2018.

The live webcast video was recorded and made available on Youtube, as well as made available in this presentation.

Please feel free to watch the video while exploring the presentation.

Published in: Education
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  • DOWNLOAD FULL BOOKS, INTO AVAILABLE FORMAT ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. PDF EBOOK here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. EPUB Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... 1.DOWNLOAD FULL. doc Ebook here { https://tinyurl.com/y3nhqquc } ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................... .............. Browse by Genre Available eBooks ......................................................................................................................... Art, Biography, Business, Chick Lit, Children's, Christian, Classics, Comics, Contemporary, Cookbooks, Crime, Ebooks, Fantasy, Fiction, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, History, Horror, Humor And Comedy, Manga, Memoir, Music, Mystery, Non Fiction, Paranormal, Philosophy, Poetry, Psychology, Religion, Romance, Science, Science Fiction, Self Help, Suspense, Spirituality, Sports, Thriller, Travel, Young Adult,
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"Ethics and Games: The Talos Principle" by Sherry Jones (Feb. 25, 2018)

  1. 1. Ethics & Games: Sherry Jones Philosophy & Game Studies Twitter @autnes The Talos Principle
  2. 2. About this Presentation This presentation was featured at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Games and Simulations Network live webcast on Feb. 25, 2018. The live webcast video was recorded and made available on Youtube, as well as made available in this presentation. Please feel free to watch the video while exploring the presentation.
  3. 3. Recorded Live Webcast
  4. 4. What is The Talos Principle ?
  5. 5. First Person (Philosophical) Puzzle Game ❖ The Talos Principle (2014, 2015, 2017) is a first person puzzle game by Croteam, with game narrative written by Tom Jubert and Jonas Kyratzes, writers of the famous Serious Sam series. ❖ Released on MS Windows, OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Playstation 4. ❖ Gameplay involves solving logic puzzles to access different parts of a world. Some puzzles require evasion from enemies, and forming connections between puzzle pieces to enter blocked areas. ❖ Game goal is to discover one’s (the player’s ) purpose in this world.
  6. 6. Player’s Conundrum: Lack of Personal Context ❖ When The Talos Principle begins, the player is immediately greeted by the voice of Elohim, an invisible entity that guides the player. ❖ The player is told that there are multiple worlds to explore, and that the player’s purpose is to solve the puzzles in the worlds. ❖ The player does not know the purpose for solving the puzzles, other than that the puzzles are designed to be enjoyable. ❖ The player also does not know why he/she is present in this world. No personal context is provided.
  7. 7. About the Game Narrative ❖ Originally, the Croteam only made a puzzle game, with no game narrative to accompany the puzzle. ❖ Croteam later invited Tom Jubert and Jonas Kyratzes to write the game narrative; using philosophical theories, the writers created a narrative design that justified the player’s need to solve the game’s complex puzzles (guiding the player with philosophical questions). ❖ Moments of ludonarrative dissonance sometimes occur between the puzzles’ rationale and the narrative’s rationale in The Talos Principle.
  8. 8. Game Narrative Inspired by Philosophy, Greek & Egyptian Mythology, Transhumanism & Posthumanism
  9. 9. Influences: Greek Myth of Talos ❖ Talos (Crete term is equivalent to Greek term, Helios, the sun) - An automaton, made of bronze, who was possibly created by Zeus, the God of the sky and the ruler over all gods and demigods. As the warder of the island of Crete, Talos ran around the island 3 times a day to protect the island from intruders. ❖ Talos possessed human like intelligence, but not a human body.
  10. 10. Source: “Death of Talos” from Carlos Parada and Maicur Forlag
  11. 11. Influences: Transhumanism and Posthumanism ❖ Transhumanism (1923) - An ideology that promotes overcoming human limitations (in both intellect and physiology) with technology. Some scholars classify transhumanism as a theory of posthumanism. ❖ Posthumanism (late 20th c.) - A philosophy that examines the nature of the human condition through contemporary technological and scientific knowledge. The changing definition of “what it is to be a human” warrants modification to ethics. ❖ Posthuman - A version of human that has overcome human intellectual and physical limitations, but may not be intelligible to us.
  12. 12. Influences: Phenomenology of Thought ❖ Central to the narrative of The Talos Principle is an “Institute of Applied Noematics.” The word “noema” has a deep, philosophical root. ❖ Noema (Greek) - The word stands for “idea” or “thought.” ❖ Philosopher Edmund Husserl uses “noema” to refer to the object or content of thought; in Husserl’s phenomenology, all intentional acts contain content of objects from the physical world. In other words, a thought (from subjective realm) cannot occur without a referent (from physical realm). One cannot form thoughts in a vacuum. This view answers the mind-body distinction problem in philosophy.
  13. 13. Game Characters
  14. 14. Characters Who Affect Game Events ❖ Elohim (aka EL-O:HIM) - An invisible authority figure who guides the player throughout the game; he speaks to the player whenever he wishes. ❖ The Serpent - A character who may or may not have been intended to appear in the game; the character may be a game anomaly. ❖ Dr. Arkady Chernyshevsky - A nobel prize honored technologist who serves as the head of the Institute of Applied Noematics project.
  15. 15. Elohim Advises the Player
  16. 16. Game Storyworld
  17. 17. The Hall of 7 Worlds
  18. 18. Entrance to World 6
  19. 19. A Puzzle World: World 1
  20. 20. A Puzzle World: Greek Architecture
  21. 21. A Puzzle World: Cliffs
  22. 22. A Puzzle World: Ocean (Edge)
  23. 23. The Tower
  24. 24. Worlds at the Tower
  25. 25. Game Mechanics
  26. 26. Sigil
  27. 27. Sigil Signs
  28. 28. Lock that Requires Sigils to Unlock
  29. 29. Star (Blocked Behind an Energy Wall)
  30. 30. Jammer
  31. 31. Bomb
  32. 32. Buzzer
  33. 33. Reflector
  34. 34. Receiver (Activated by Beam from Reflector)
  35. 35. Reflectors and Receivers (Beam Color Matters)
  36. 36. Turret
  37. 37. Hexahedron
  38. 38. Terminal (Metadiegetic Narrative Device)
  39. 39. Paint Bucket
  40. 40. Message (Made with Paint)
  41. 41. Game Rhetoric: Meaning and Purpose
  42. 42. Elohim’s Speech on the Nature of the World 1 of 5
  43. 43. Elohim’s Speech on the Nature of the World 2 of 5
  44. 44. Elohim’s Speech on the Nature of the World 3 of 5
  45. 45. Elohim’s Speech on the Nature of the World 4 of 5
  46. 46. Elohim’s Speech on the Nature of the World 5 of 5
  47. 47. Elohim’s Speech on Eternal Life 1 of 5
  48. 48. Elohim’s Speech on Eternal Life 2 of 5
  49. 49. Elohim’s Speech on Eternal Life 3 of 5
  50. 50. Elohim’s Speech on Eternal Life 4 of 5
  51. 51. Elohim’s Speech on Eternal Life 5 of 5
  52. 52. Game Rhetoric: What Is a Human?
  53. 53. Psychometric Profile Certification Test Part 1-1
  54. 54. Psychometric Profile Certification Test Part 1-2
  55. 55. Psychometric Profile Certification Test Part 1-3
  56. 56. Psychometric Profile Certification Test Part 2-1
  57. 57. Psychometric Profile Certification Test Part 2-2
  58. 58. Test Results: Psychological Profile
  59. 59. Test Results: Conflicts
  60. 60. Test Results: Denial
  61. 61. Game Rhetoric: Purpose of Life Is to Solve Puzzles
  62. 62. One’s Purpose Is to Obtain Sigils
  63. 63. The Extent of One’s Reality Is the World of Puzzles
  64. 64. Enlightenment Is To Accept the Reality of Puzzles
  65. 65. Game Rhetoric: Obey Authority (Do Not Ascend)
  66. 66. Do Not Visit the Tower (Listen to Elohim)
  67. 67. The Tower Should Be Feared (Listen to Elohim)
  68. 68. Do Not Ascend the Tower (Listen to Elohim)
  69. 69. Game Rhetoric: Do Not Accept Chaos (Serpent)
  70. 70. (Serpent’s) Voice is a Distortion
  71. 71. (Serpent’s) Voice Will Undermine the World
  72. 72. Serpent Speaks Blasphemy
  73. 73. Serpent Speaks with a Female Voice
  74. 74. Stop Talking to Me, Serpent!
  75. 75. Game Rhetoric: Reality May Not Be As It Seems
  76. 76. Parts of the World Seems Impossible
  77. 77. Suspicion of Reality
  78. 78. Space Is Not Real
  79. 79. Naming Function Error (Revealing Algorithm Error)
  80. 80. Child Program Fail (Revealing Algorithm Error)
  81. 81. Nanosleep NULL Sign (Revealing Algorithm Error)
  82. 82. Vegetation Shader Sign (Revealing Design Talk)
  83. 83. Game Secrets Revealed!: Who Are You?
  84. 84. Secret: The World is a Program Filled With Bots
  85. 85. Secret: AIs Were Messaging You
  86. 86. Secret: Here is The Shepherd, an AI
  87. 87. Secret: You (the Player) Are an AI Too!
  88. 88. Secret: Messages (Are Painted on Walls by AIs)
  89. 89. Secret: You (the Player) Are Painting a Message!
  90. 90. Secrets Revealed: Reality (Context) is Designed
  91. 91. Extended Lifespan Project by Dr. Arkady Chernyshevsky
  92. 92. Extended Lifespan Project Design Team
  93. 93. Designing the “Turing Test” for Bots 1 of 2
  94. 94. Designing the “Turing Test” for Bots 2 of 2
  95. 95. HIM (Holistic (Integration Manager): Birth of EL- O:HIM
  96. 96. Design Context: Greek Myths and Philosophy
  97. 97. Tale of Automatons 1 of 2
  98. 98. Tale of Automatons 2 of 2
  99. 99. The Talos Principle: Inescapable Materiality of Life
  100. 100. Cicero on Immortality
  101. 101. Design Context: Egyptian Myths
  102. 102. Book of Osiris: Human’s Ka and Ba
  103. 103. Design Problems: What is an AI?
  104. 104. What Is It Like to be an AI?
  105. 105. Debate on AI Citizenship 1 of 2
  106. 106. Debate on AI Citizenship 2 of 2
  107. 107. Game Conclusion (Spoilers Ahead!)
  108. 108. The Purpose of Solving the Puzzles ❖ EL-O:HIM is a program created by the “Institute of Applied Noematics” to generate and run AIs, and to test the AIs’ ability to become sentient and develop free will. ❖ Sentience (capacity to feel) involves becoming able to sense the world and have subjective experiences. ❖ Free will involves making choices while being able to resist external temptations. ❖ The AIs are to solve the puzzles to obtain sigils (particular the “grey” sigil) to be able to access the 6th floor of the Tower.
  109. 109. Develop the Free Will to Resist Elohim ❖ Although Elohim has explicitly warned the AIs to not ascend the tower, the AIs are supposed to not feel compelled by Elohim’s commands (or the Serpent’s sways), and ascend the Tower with their own free will. ❖ Many AIs have failed to reach the top of the Tower, and each time an AI fails to do so, Elohim would “reboot” the AI to restart the program again to replay the puzzles. ❖ The AI that can reach the top of the Tower on its own would be uploaded to a physical, android body, and be able to explore the physical world.
  110. 110. Continuing Life as a “Posthuman” ❖ The ending of the game reveals that all human beings have been wiped out due to viruses released from the permafrost when global warming occurred. ❖ Prior to death, the Institute of Applied Noematics stored all human knowledge in the program, EL-O:HIM, in hope that the program would one day generate an AI, equipped with all human knowledge, can developed the free will to continue existence as a “posthuman.” ❖ Immortality, in this sense, is granted to collective human knowledge, not consciousness.
  111. 111. Applying Philosophy and Ethics of Determinism to Examine the Game, The Talos Principle
  112. 112. What is Determinism? ❖ Determinism is a philosophy that all events in the universe have cause and effect relationships, and that occurrences of events are determined by causality. Many theories (with varying views on causality) are derived from this philosophy. ❖ The most extreme version of determinism is hard determinism, which renders free will, as well as ethics, impossible. ❖ The mind vs. body distinction poses a problem for determinism. ❖ Let’s examine the different theories to understand how determinism can be applied to the analysis of The Talos Principle.
  113. 113. Types of Determinism (1 of 2) ❖ Hard (or Scientific) Determinism - Both physical and mental events have a cause. All choices we make are determined by causes, and are not of free will. Some choices are epiphenomena, that of which have no influence on events. Free will and chance are not possible. ❖ Soft Determinism (Compatibilism) - Physical events have a cause, but mental events do not. Mental events (decisions) pose no effects on the physical world. Free will to make mental choices is possible. ❖ Predeterminism - God is the primum mobile (first mover) of a hard deterministic universe. God determines causality of both physical and mental events. Free will, miracle, and chance are not possible.
  114. 114. Types of Determinism (2 of 2) ❖ Indeterminism - Denies that all events are determined by causality. Accepts the possibility of chaos occurring in the universe. Free will and chance are possible. ❖ Fatalism - Some events are determined prior to the causal chain in motion. Those events will be fated to occur regardless of cause or chance events. It is possible, however, to make a choice to avoid indefinite events. Free will and chance are possible. ❖ Free Will - Some of our choices are free from causes, but can still produce effects. This view is problematic as it gives us no way of tracing the root of our behavior.
  115. 115. Hard Determinism and Ethics ❖ Morality Is Not Possible: ➢ Free will is required to make moral or immoral choices. ➢ In a hard deterministic universe, all events (mental and physical) are caused, leaving no chance to occur. ➢ Since free will is not possible, morality is not possible. ❖ Ethics Is Not Possible: We cannot set forth a set of rules to govern behaviors when behaviors are determined by causality, and that we have no control or responsibility over our own behaviors.
  116. 116. Mind-Body Distinction and the “Soul” ❖ The mind-body distinction is a philosophical problem that questions whether the mind can influence the body, or vice versa. ➢ The body can be compelled by external events to act. ➢ The mind can be compelled to think in certain ways based on wants and desires. ➢ Since we can be compelled or coerced by internal and external forces to act, such as desires, environmental forces, and genetics, how can we have free will? ❖ Some philosophers suggest that a “soul,” which is free from but pilots the mind and body, affords humans the free will to resist. In modern philosophy, the soul is defined as consciousness.
  117. 117. Religious Context: Hell is Where the Mind is Free
  118. 118. Religious Context: Hell Corrupts Mind-Body Distinction
  119. 119. Question about the AI (the Player) ❖ Q. Consider the ending of The Talos Principle. How would a Compatibilist (Soft Determinist) vs. an Indeterminist interpret whether or not the AI has achieved true, free will? ❖ Q. For the AI to be able to resist coercion from Elohim and temptation from the Serpent, it needs to develop free will. Did the AI ever develop consciousness to develop free will? Of what, exactly, is the AI conscious?
  120. 120. Presentation by: Sherry Jones Philosophy & Game Studies SME Lecturer, Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design ISTE Games and Simulations Network Leader http://about.me/sherryjones Twitter @autnes sherryjones.edtech@gmail.com

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