The Video Game Horror Of HBO’s Westworld

HBO’s new series Westworld has probably got a lot of people reconsidering their most recent Grand Theft Auto V murder spree. Reconsidering, though probably not regretting. On the one hand, the first two episodes of HBO’s new sci-fi drama have asked us to at least entertain the idea that the computer-controlled civilians we just mowed down have personalities and inner lives. On the other hand, it comfortingly shows us a fictional form of entertainment so far advanced beyond modern video games that we won’t lose much sleep over the virtual citizens we just killed. Our current video game moral quandaries remain safely abstract and philosophical. GTA’s androids do not yet dream of electric sheep. Westworld’s setup, briefly: At some unclear date in the future, enterprising content creators have devised a…

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