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Abstracted Killing
Large Image Display:Abstracted Killing

This single still is from the widescreen version of ?Program?, one of the Animatrix animated shorts. It has been considerably scaled back from the original material. It shows a moment from the initial fight scene of the film, which has interesting broader implications.

In the sequence, a young female warrior rides into battle against five other warriors, swinging her polearm with deadly accuracy. Its all a simulation, a gameworld. She is human, logged into the system from outside, and playing the part of a savage warrior queen. The riders are bots, AIs programmed to attempt to kill her.

In the Matrix universe of course, the games are training exercises with very real danger to the body. Outside of that universe, its almost like describing the ultimate video game. When all your senses are present and fully replicated, you feel embodied in the simulation, and see/feel/hear/smell the enemy charging towards you, is it not surely a trainer for real murder?

Well, the approach taken in this simulation is ingenious to say the least, and would work in an actual simulation program. This image is of one of the soldiers, mere fractions of a second after her weapon sliced through his body like a knife through butter. There?s no blood, no guts, no unpleasantness. The two halves simply peel apart and a stream of glowing green characters spill forth.

As more of the characters spill out, so the avatar of the bot deflates and unravels till there is nothing left and the cloud dissipates. In this way it is sanitising violence, removing the ugly consequences and keeping just that hint of game. Anyone who tries to duplicate the combat outside of the simulation is liable to find out that actual people have bones that stop the passage of the weapon, or they are not as strong offline. Worse, there?s all this blood and icky stuff, that will more likely than not, prevent even a considerably unbalanced individual from following all the way through in most cases.

Because, its not the same.

Link: Animatrix: Program