I really wish I was any good at art or video making because I constantly have ideas for what I truly believe would be awesome… scripts I guess.
I'm partially replaying the game to amend some of my decisions. My main playthrough is as a Machine Conner. I'm not especially interested in the other characters. Kara's story for me is ruined by the whole "gotcha! Alice was an android all along!" and Markus is fine, sorta, as the deviant leader/ra9/whatever, but honestly for me is just a chore to get back to doing what I want to do: BE THE MOST MACHINE CONNER WHO EVER WAS BUILT!
And I suddenly got the mental inspiration for like, I dunno, a Machine Conner tribute. Kamski asks Conner his dumbass questions. Conner, are you an obedient machine (awesome robot) or alive (broken robot)? Omg you has empathy! You put yourself in her shoes! You are broken, hooray! Okay, enough silliness, because I am imagining something fairly serious in tone.
(The video is long but just watch for a few min from where I timestamped it at about 38min to 41:29.) I share it because I think that is the type of high quality sci-fi that DHE is missing.
I find it a much more interesting theory that a sufficiently advanced AI with a priority to assimilate information and a capacity to self-update would obtain sentience than a purpose built android would suddenly develop sentience because of "emotional shocks". I am not especially convinced in any way by DBE's "smart robots get emotional shocks!" How? With what emotions?
It comes off as basically magic instead of sci-fi. And honestly, constantly just undercuts the emotional pressure. "My girlbot is dead! I loved her!" "So, like, she needs new batteries or what?"
I never cared about Markus who I just found dumb and boring. It's like Bicentennial Man but not as good. It could have been better than Bicentennial Man, but it just didn't do it for me. The old man just sort of shouts at Markus to develop but we never see Markus develop until he suddenly has an emotional outburst contradictory to every order and priority he has.
The art and the acting are better than Bicentennial Man, sure, but the writing and the ideas are 10x worse. They make no sense whatsoever. And it mostly relies on the lowest common denominator developing feelings for sexbots that visually imitate life. I'm sure that 90% of audience sympathy for deviants would be erased, without changing any other variables, if they just didn't look human and instead looked like automatons. Sort of like how they make the soldiers look like faceless robots, funnily enough.
But, anyway, maybe the mystery all along was that Kamski just developed a virus on purpose, spread through ra9/Markus, for his secret plans or whatever. And there is obviously some deliberately vague nonsense to try to get the audience to theorycraft exactly like that, but I don't find it intriguing nor do I find it congruent with the story themes.
If the theme is supposed to be about oppression or about new peoples being accepted by the old or acceptance of new ideas or whatever whatever then the explanation that they were never sentient at all and it was all an evil plot by Kamski or whoever is just an awful and lazy explanation. For the story to make any sort of sense and to have any sort of meaning as well as connection and context with the given theme, the sentience of the AIs has to be real and they have to be a sort of new mechanical life at least to a degree that is explorable beyond superficial emotional emoting.
I guess that's my biggest gripe with the whole thing. It's like the writers of DHE think "sentient" is crying and screaming a lot. Kara was my favorite character in the beginning. She was the most interesting and unlike Markus, her journey into deviancy made sense. Contradicting priorities (#) Protect Human Life: Alice and (#) Obey Human Orders: Todd. Being put into a paradoxical situation where she cannot possibly adhere to both instructions, as a learning and problem solving AI, she had to "self-edit" priorities. When it turns out Alice is an Android all along, it turns her story from an interesting, compelling, sympathetic one into a grosteque story of broken robots murdering their owner. It changes Todd from an abusive bastard who deserves to die to a wanker who breaks his toys which is better than taking out his anger on real people.
Machine Conner though. He is just great.
"You can't kill me. I'm not alive."
"Of course, I'm a machine!"
I just wish there was an option to shoot Chloe without having to listen to Kamski's entire boring monologue because my Machine Conner would have shot her as soon as the parameters were set! None of this emotional software instability nonsense.
Why would empathy change Conner in any way? Conner died to save the little girl in the hostage situation and would die to complete his mission in other instances (but that's the only time it happened for me). So if he pictures himself dying for the mission, how does that change anything?
And I don't remember the whole monologue, it's quite boring and forgettable, and probably only feels longer than it is, but what I wish I could do is make a short video of Machine Conner going through the Kamski Meeting mission spliced with flashbacks to Machine Conner moments like "sacrificing his life" to save the little girl, tourniqueting the police man with the line, "You can't kill me, I'm not alive." to the deviant, saving Hank (the ACTUAL robotic choice for anyone who understands maths and order of priority), shooting deviants, kicking deviant heads in, chasing them over roofs and down highways, and taking bullets for cops/civilians.
And before Kamski even finishes his stupid monologue, Conner shots Chloebot in her stupid processing unit and demands the location of Jericho and then ARRESTS Kamski for being as a criminal accessory among other charges like suspicion of creating deviants, harbouring deviants, etc.
And then music blasts, sunglasses fall on Machine Conner's face, and he fires his rocket boots and flies straight to Jericho to reck some deviant shit.
Okay, lol, thanks for reading. Sorry it's messy, I'm tired.
- Spoiler Did Kamski always intend for androids to “wake up”?
- Child androids could be used to exploit our compassion and sense of morality.
- My theory on deviancy
More about Detroit Become HumanPost: "Just some random thoughts and a pitch." specifically for the game Detroit Become Human. Other useful information about this game:
- I gave Kara, Markus and Connor free reign to decide their own ending. These are the results.
- I just finished the game and I’m extremely disappointed
- Small character details you’ve picked up on in the game, which mostly no one knows about.
- Can we talk about Todd?
- On Kamski, Amanda, and the Secret of Deviancy
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