Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Choose Your Own Dystopia (TM)

London's cultural and tourist scene is fairly sci-fi friendly at present. I posted about the last Turbine Hall installation here, both a sci-fi experience in itself and a nostalgic collection of sci-fi books and film clips. More recently I visited the London Transport Museum, creeping past a group of stormtroopers in Picadilly Circus en route (it was a sci-fi kind of day).

LTM is mainly concerned with the history of bus, tram and tube travel. However the last exhibit, just before the exit ramp, is an installation that allows you to make choices about present day society, then mixes and matches elements to generate a version of society in 2055. The focus is predictably climate change and the threat of "energy shock" however the scenarios generated are wide-ranging and all very dystopian - ranging from an always-on society where people live and work in their car-offices, constantly moving under computer control, through a 1984-style scenario where the poor sell their carbon credits to the rich and everyone lives in fear of the carbon police who monitor your every footstep - to the other extreme where people live in ruined office blocks and skyscrapers, growing crops up the walls and living sustainable, recyclable lives but long-distance travel is all but forgotten and anarchy/gang law rules.

You can use the Future Generator online on the LTM website here.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

I've always found that a fairly reasonable prediction method is to take the two most extreme viewpoints and then choose something in the middle as to what will actually happen.

I'm looking forward to selling my carbon credits :P