• Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

A world with clones

This topic is 5851 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

In the game world I''m working on player death is dealt with by the player''s spirit being transferred to a clone. There are a number of penalties for this but the player can continue with the same character and it gives death some meaning. I''ve been thinking of the type of society that would exist in this world. Clones are expensive and so those with access to them would be the rich or useful minority. There are two empires in the game. The first has a developed world with a large population. People who have clones on this world are forbidden to have children. Thus "cloners" are pitied by many and there isn''t a great deal of resentment. The other Empire is formed of worlds that were colonised a century or so ago and has a need for an expanding population. Cloners can have children. I''m trying to see what the features of these two societies would be. The only book I''ve found that deals with this theme is Jack Vance "To Live Forever." The latest David Brin book and others look more at the loss of individuality in a cloned world which is not what I am after. Any ideas on books? Any comments on the scenario?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Do the clones share the same memories? If so, how? Why are clones expensive? Is it just to keep away the rabble? The first empire's strategy sounds self-defeating: if the useful minority is all cloned, then only useless people are allowed to have kids. Ack.

As for the second empire, why don't they just clone themselves a bunch of idealized colonists? In fact, why don't all the clones from the first empire defect to the second empire and breed like rabbits and then wipe out all the idiots (and their noisy little kids) in the first empire? What's so great about an empire that's preventing all of its intelligent people from procreating anyway? What idiot leader thought that was a good idea?






Edited by - varelse on February 1, 2002 1:06:34 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once cloned myself. Some people tell me it was a mistake. I don''t know where he went.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I once cloned myself. Some people tell me it was a mistake. I don''t know where he went.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This leads to some really good possibilities, such as a lucrative but highly dangerous trade in smuggling clones and people between the two empires, or perhaps criminals having clones arrested and executed instead of them, other sinister stuff like that.

I LOVE this idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by Captain Insanity
This leads to some really good possibilities, such as a lucrative but highly dangerous trade in smuggling clones and people between the two empires, or perhaps criminals having clones arrested and executed instead of them, other sinister stuff like that.

I LOVE this idea.


Yeah, but lets say that this game goes commercial. It''s supposed to be an action game with the ultimate fight against the big boss, but a year later, the publisher would have a sequel programmed, because you only got a clone of the real bad guy last time, and so on and so on...

You''d never really now if you got the right guy, which could turn the idea down quite a bit.

Otherwise the idea actually really is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
''loss of individuality! loss of individuality!
loss of individuality! life becomes cheap!
life becomes cheap! life becomes cheap!''

That is such crap, it would be no different than what
identical twins put up with now. Sorry about the rant,
some people just are so completely unable to think
at all, let alone rationally or logically that I spout
off when I can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Many thanks for the comments

Symphonic - I got "Spares" It''s an interesting read!

Capt. Insanity - you have an evil, twisted mind - can I hire you?

Peaceman - its an MMORPG

Varelse. - In any game there is death. Most don''t bother with explanations, you just return to life and carry on - look at AC for example. That''s obviously a fall back position for us but we thought we would try and give death something more and make it part of a wider experience. So...

By worshiping the Gods you strengthen your soul path. By having the church bless your clone you create a soul portal. When you die your soul flies to your clone with all its memories complete. Atheists have more problems with this but it can be done.

Clones are expensive to create, house and nurture. Once grown to full size they may need plastic surgery to resemble you properly. They need nutrients and exercise to prevent muscle atrophy.

Having intelligent kids isn''t a prerogative of the intelligent. In a world like that of the first Empire, Tsualian, there is a need for population control. To allow people clones and kids would defeat this policy. Also it make cloning acceptable to the masses. The Second Empire was founded from colony worlds. There is a need for increased population but further colonisation from the First is now barred. Therefore you can clone and have kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I''d be happy to help.

If you want any ideas fleshing out or anything, don''t hesitate to email me.

"Clone yourself by mail!
Send several eyelashes or a nail clipping, £5000 plus bus fare.
Allow 5-6 working days for arrival
Make sure the envelope has not been handled by anyone else."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Varelse. - In any game there is death. Most don't bother with explanations, you just return to life and carry on - look at AC for example. That's obviously a fall back position for us but we thought we would try and give death something more and make it part of a wider experience. So...


Mostly because like Kenny on South Park, there really is no need for explanation. How will the clones affect the tale? If it's just a rationalization for extra lives, it's extraneous IMO. If it's integral to the character arc, go for it. Right now, it just seems really contrived to me.

quote:
By worshiping the Gods you strengthen your soul path. By having the church bless your clone you create a soul portal. When you die your soul flies to your clone with all its memories complete. Atheists have more problems with this but it can be done.


Seems to me with direct evidence of the hereafter like this, there wouldn't be many atheists around -- at least not any intelligent ones. It's kind of like the warm reception a psychic would get from the skeptics if only they'd demonstrate their power under laboratory conditions. But, I digress.

quote:
Clones are expensive to create, house and nurture. Once grown to full size they may need plastic surgery to resemble you properly. They need nutrients and exercise to prevent muscle atrophy.


So they're just like kids; what's the difference?

quote:
Having intelligent kids isn't a prerogative of the intelligent. In a world like that of the first Empire, Tsualian, there is a need for population control. To allow people clones and kids would defeat this policy. Also it make cloning acceptable to the masses.


This seems arbitrary and inconsistent. Why not simply institute a program of zero-population-growth and leave it to the individual to work out the details? The best and the brightest wouldn't tolerate this crap. The empire would either change or fall.

quote:
The Second Empire was founded from colony worlds. There is a need for increased population but further colonisation from the First is now barred. Therefore you can clone and have kids.


So the second empire isn't all that bright either? It sounds to me like all the smart people from both empires have secretly amassed a fleet to crush them both and create something new. So why not have your revolution now, in the design stage, and come up with something that would last more than 5 years for the game.

Picture yourself as a citizen of either of these empires. How long would you put up with crap like this? Now multiply that dissatisfaction by a billion and just try to stand in its way.






Edited by - varelse on February 7, 2002 3:59:49 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
" Mostly because like Kenny on South Park, there really is no need for explanation. How will the clones affect the tale? If it''s just a rationalization for extra lives, it''s extraneous IMO. If it''s integral to the character arc, go for it. Right now, it just seems really contrived to me."

I disagree. If the game is to transcend the current stuff then there is a need for explanation. Even a rough explanation is better than none.

In this game the clone transference will;
1. Give meaning to religions - usually little more than some creation myth in most games,
2. Allow clones and (probably at a later date) children,
3. Provide a money sink,
4. Stop people hogging the best positions - the higher you are in the Empires the longer it takes for your clone to acclimatise. This means that others may nip in and grab your spot.

In reality population control is difficult - try giving a speech on it in your school, college or work place. So it is likely that a government would go down this route. The best and brightest would fall into line. In general people obey the rules.

You say people would rebel - unlikely. Why do you obey the rules of the institution you are in or working for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
I disagree. If the game is to transcend the current stuff then there is a need for explanation. Even a rough explanation is better than none.


A good rule of storytelling is that if an event doesn't affect the flow of a story, then it's best left out. I really think you need to think through the consequences of this rather than pass it off as backstory, because its effects are huge IMO, to wit:

quote:
In this game the clone transference will;
1. Give meaning to religions - usually little more than some creation myth in most games,


But now you've established that your gods work on a bartering system: pray to them and get stuff (sort of like pepsi points). So what happens the day that a clone prays to not have his life stolen from him when his creator dies? And if the gods deny his plea, what's to stop the clones from deciding their lives are pointless and killing themselves? And in the midst of all that human carnage, what's to stop one or more of these gods from taking pity on them, and start transferring their souls into the bodies of their creators, thus reversing the entire status quo?

quote:
3. Provide a money sink,


Most technologies are reduced to commodity pricing within a couple decades after their introduction. Why should this be any different? Current science even points to mass cloning on the cheap within 100 years. Why are they suddenly expensive to an empire whose technology would appear magical to us? Is the government sitting on a big secret?

quote:
4. Stop people hogging the best positions - the higher you are in the Empires the longer it takes for your clone to acclimatise. This means that others may nip in and grab your spot.


SO why should this be? Because the designer says so? From what aspect of your society/world is this a consequence? You say you want to explain away everything, so this question seems fair game.

quote:
In reality population control is difficult - try giving a speech on it in your school, college or work place. So it is likely that a government would go down this route. The best and brightest would fall into line. In general people obey the rules.


Since when have the people with money and power in any society EVER obeyed the rules? IMO many take a perverse pleasure in breaking them and feeling entitled to do so because of their position. I can't see your government surviving; a bunch of likeminded individuals who thought it sucked could easily board a starship and disappear into the great beyond; so what is your government doing to keep the people happy (other than providing them with this mysteriously expensive cloning technology)?

quote:
You say people would rebel - unlikely. Why do you obey the rules of the institution you are in or working for?


Because we have a shared goal. The minute that changed, I would leave, and I have done so in the past. And there's no need for rebellion if you have stardrive -- the fed up could just pick up their bags and head off for parts unknown.



Edited by - varelse on February 8, 2002 8:53:58 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When you die and transfer to a clone, what is your legal status? Are you considered the same person, or a new one. Do you get to keep all of yer stuff, or do you have to will it to your clone (after a hefty inheritance tax of course)?

Korvan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I am the clone of Richard Nixon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry if I duplicate (clone) anyone else''s comments - I haven''t had time to do more than skim the post.

quote:
Original post by Crydee
Clones are expensive and so those with access to them would be the rich or useful minority.

People who have clones on this world are forbidden to have children.



I may have misunderstood but if I have a clone made of myself then I''m not allowed to have any children?

I can''t see this developing since it clashes with the first point that cloning is out of reach for normal people. If only the extremely wealthy and powerful (government ministers?) can have a clone made, then why would they agree to go without children? People who make the rules rarely make rules which imposes major restrictions on only themselves.

Hell, we had enough trouble over here (UK) when government ministers voted against a suggestion that they took a paycut.

E

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It was not until 983CT that cloning became a realistic possibility for humans. The nature and structure of DNA had been known for sometime before that. Animals were routinely cloned to grow tissues and organs for human use. But only when the Lord (subsequently Earl) of Ko-Lysset invented the creation chamber did human clones become commonplace.

The process was expensive. Micros - Lord Ko-Lysset''s company - had a patent on the chamber and charged extensively for mere creation. Then there was nourishment, exercise and rental on the awaiting facilities to add to the bills. Only those with significant wealth, or government sponsorship could afford Micros'' exorbitant prices. There was some argument that a clone should take its place in society while its original lived; so making the process considerably cheaper. This idea was firmly crushed. A person could only exist in society in one form.

Yet cloning became a fad for the wealthy arisocrats. Once the Church of the First God enabled soul transference a ''cloner'' could return as if from the dead to start life anew, with only a few deficits in earlier skills and knowledge that could be restored relatively easily. Lawyers laboured hard to ensure that along with his soul, the ''cloner''s'' wealth was transferred to the new persona. "We are the new immortals," was the ''cloners'''' proud boast.

Unfortunately some took advantage. Those whose interests were of a deviant nature found they could commit a crime and go virtually unpunished. Others gathered all their wealth to themselves, leaving their children to bewail their lack of an inheritance. Discontent grew.

Tsualian society could perhaps have coped with these problems. The real difficulty came when cloning was seen to clash with the population edicts. To reduce the planet''s burgeoning populace Lambir Keyn had ordered that after a couple had had two children both parents must be compulsorily sterilised. Any single parent was automatically sterilsed at the birth of her child. Cloners violated this edict. For they could have two children with their first body, two more with the next and so on.

It was in 1012CT that the simmering discontent boiled over. Magnus Realtoi IV was interviewed on Intercast net. He proudly took with him his eight children and boasted of the others he would have and the children his children - all cloners - would beget. Unfortunately his interviewer - Adealta Maruna was a single mother who had been sterilised at 16. In front of an Empire wide audience she denounced him as a sinner in the eyes of the First God and an enemy of the people. The blustering, contemptuous response of Realtoi only made matters worse. She smashed a glass carafe and stabbed him to death. At her trial the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on the grounds of provocation. Adealta became the Empire''s heroine.

Some minor riots ensued. Micros facilities were stormed and burnt to the ground. Segal Foran III was lynched by a mob that chanted - "III this week, IV next week!" The government, strongly supported by Micros who were uneasy at the effect of the new public mood on their balance sheet, acted. After a stormy session in the Con-Rath a new edict was pronounced. From now on no cloner was allowed to have children. The rites of cloning would from henceforth include a ceremony of sterilisation. In that way the cloner showed true faith in the First God and responsibility to Tsualian society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
It was not until 983CT that cloning became a realistic possibility for humans. The nature and structure of DNA had been known for sometime before that. Animals were routinely cloned to grow tissues and organs for human use. But only when the Lord (subsequently Earl) of Ko-Lysset invented the creation chamber did human clones become commonplace.


I don't buy it. The news is reporting today that we've cloned cats using current technology. That's just a hop, skip, and a republican away from cloning humans. If you're extrapolating an unpredictable future, at least try not to contradict what little we do know already.

quote:
The process was expensive. Micros - Lord Ko-Lysset's company - had a patent on the chamber and charged extensively for mere creation. Then there was nourishment, exercise and rental on the awaiting facilities to add to the bills. Only those with significant wealth, or government sponsorship could afford Micros' exorbitant prices. There was some argument that a clone should take its place in society while its original lived; so making the process considerably cheaper. This idea was firmly crushed. A person could only exist in society in one form.


And how long did the clones put up with this nonsense? They literally have nothing to lose. What happened to the people who thought clones should have rights? There's a whole storyline here that seems to me a lot more interesting than your main tale.

quote:
Yet cloning became a fad for the wealthy arisocrats. Once the Church of the First God enabled soul transference a 'cloner' could return as if from the dead to start life anew, with only a few deficits in earlier skills and knowledge that could be restored relatively easily. Lawyers laboured hard to ensure that along with his soul, the 'cloner's' wealth was transferred to the new persona. "We are the new immortals," was the 'cloners' proud boast.


This sounds like a better magical technological bottleneck than the cloning machine to me. Clones are going to be a dime a dozen, but now you have something that is magic: the recovery of a lost soul. I would suggest you make this the crux of the matter rather than the cloning process. Then you could also have a stock of clones around for organ harvesting.

quote:
Unfortunately some took advantage. Those whose interests were of a deviant nature found they could commit a crime and go virtually unpunished. Others gathered all their wealth to themselves, leaving their children to bewail their lack of an inheritance. Discontent grew.


These events doen't seem to follow from the legal brouhaha over a soul's rights. What society would give a soul all the privileges of its former life without the responsibilities of it as well? How do you get a revolution from a couple of spoiled rich kids getting cheated out of their inheritances anyway?

quote:
Tsualian society could perhaps have coped with these problems. The real difficulty came when cloning was seen to clash with the population edicts. To reduce the planet's burgeoning populace Lambir Keyn had ordered that after a couple had had two children both parents must be compulsorily sterilised. Any single parent was automatically sterilsed at the birth of her child. Cloners violated this edict. For they could have two children with their first body, two more with the next and so on.


This seems to suffer from the same problem as the previous feature. Why would the legal system overlook such a huge loophole in the first place?

quote:
It was in 1012CT that the simmering discontent boiled over. Magnus Realtoi IV was interviewed on Intercast net. He proudly took with him his eight children and boasted of the others he would have and the children his children - all cloners - would beget. Unfortunately his interviewer - Adealta Maruna was a single mother who had been sterilised at 16. In front of an Empire wide audience she denounced him as a sinner in the eyes of the First God and an enemy of the people. The blustering, contemptuous response of Realtoi only made matters worse. She smashed a glass carafe and stabbed him to death. At her trial the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on the grounds of provocation. Adealta became the Empire's heroine.


OK, so this emperor is an idiot. Where were his handlers during all this? No one this stupid gets into power without someone smart behind the throne making sure events like this could never happen. It really feels like you're manhandling your history to rationalize the clones as opposed to showing why they're a natural consequence of your society.



Edited by - varelse on February 14, 2002 9:19:07 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"I don''t buy it. The news is reporting today that we''ve cloned cats using current technology. That''s just a hop, skip, and a republican away from cloning humans. If you''re extrapolating an unpredictable future, at least try not to contradict what little we do know already."

Ah - I see the problem. You are looking at today''s primitive biotechnology and equating it to the advanced science of Tsualian. I assume you want players to come back as a 1 day old baby.

The Lord Ko-Lyssett struggled for years with advanced cloning until he realised he was going in the wrong direction. To go forward he needed to take a step back. Cloners wanted an 18 year old body but with their minds full of all the knowledge and memories they had at the time of death. Also clients - particularly those who were often involved in affairs of honour - wanted a number of clones ready to move into over a short time.

On that basis was the creation chamber concept formulated. The chamber duplicates the body of the client while leaving the mind totally blank - a new CD waiting to be written on. In the creation chamber the body is rapidly advanced to its 18 year old state then taken to an awaiting facility where it is nourished and exercised to keep it in peak condition. The brain is fed the base memories of the client and imbued with his or her skills and attributes. From time to time these memories are updated. Thus, at the time of transference, the client can take over a fully functioning 18 year old body with little memory loss. Unfortunately skill transference has proved less easy and clients do lose some previously attained functions.

To compare this technology with current Earth practices is like comparing a sling shot with an automatic rifle.

"How long did the clones put up with this nonsense?"

Forever - clones do not exist as sentients in the awaiting chamber. Apart from the fed memories of the client they have no concept of reality and no will to act on any feeling they might have.

Finally if you were in your first existance you would be known as Varelse. In your first cloned existance you would be Varelse I, in the second Varelse II and so on. Magnus Realtoi IV was no emperor, he was a wealthy and stupid man in his fourth cloned existence.




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement