Many shows, books, movies and games fall under the science fiction genre, also known as sci-fi. Are we subjected to think that the artificial science portrayed on screen or on pages is what the future will look like? There are a countless number of fiction stories that heavily have science sequences. To name a few film series: “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” “The Matrix,” and “Divergent.” There are also video games: “Cyberpunk,” “The Division,” and “Halo.” The list goes on and on.
The science fiction genre is solely centered around an imaginative, futuristic science. The writers create a world where technology is so far advanced that it is not realistic. Some of these characteristics include flying vehicles, nanotech, teleportation, computer mind reading, simulation building, etc. We live in a world in which technology and science are constantly evolving and unpredictable. There is no reason to believe that we will not live in a world one day where there are flying vehicles. We may not see it in this lifetime, but people have been hopeful that flying vehicles will exist for decades now. The idea of flying cars remains science fiction until it is made into reality.
Are the writers in this genre hoping that this is what our world will look like one day? Maybe the writers themselves would know the answer to that. We can make assumptions based on our perception. For example, “The Circle” (2013) written by Dave Eggers is a science fiction book that centers on a tech worker, Mae Holland, who works for a big internet company. She discovers the dark and corrupt side of the company shortly after being employed.
The message of the story is obvious. Advanced technology is dangerous, it invades personal privacy and is not the idealistic world to live in. The story depicts a fear that is often realistic because of the technology in today’s society. The writer specifically wanted to get that message across to the audience. Even though we do not live in a world that is exactly like the one Eggers described, it is still a possibility to consider, because that technology can be invented.
There are less scary narratives in this genre. For example, Iron-Man creates his suits using technology and science. We get the message that science can be used for good, as he uses his suit to help others in danger. What the audience is taking away from this is centralized around interest, that is it “cool” to be a superhero and beat up the bad guys. The audience likes what they are watching and wishes they could do the things that their beloved characters are doing.
That is where wishful thinking comes into play. The things portrayed on screen, even if they are fake, can be partially believable if explained by science. There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to science and technology because both are evolving and always will be evolving. It depends on what the person believes and the way they perceive the science fiction. Some narratives are not that far-fetched from what we experience today.
It might be harder to believe you can turn into a web-slinging superhero if you get bitten from a special spider than it might be to believe in the creation of an iron suit that can shoot missiles from the palm. Get the gist?
Those fictitious stories are how ideas get spread of what we want the future to look like based on our interest in them. Wishing is all about hoping something will come true even if it is not easily attainable. Add wishing to science, and that is how it develops.
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