[Video Games]

SOMA is the Matrix if the Humans Created It


SOMA has been on my must-play list for nearly 3 years now. I’ve finally checked it off my list. And it wasn’t on my list just because it’s a horror title, but because of who made it, Frictional Games. This is the same team who created Amnesia, possibly the scariest game I have ever played. So, naturally, I’m pretty interested in whatever they release now.

SOMA isn’t quite as scary as Amnesia, but is still scarier than most horror games. I definitely had to “check out” a few times to get through certain sections because the fear was too much. The developers of this game definitely understand fear and aren’t afraid to push the player too much. AAA horror titles are incomparable to the fear that this independent developer has captured.

The game’s influences are movies like: The Matrix, Virus, Chopping Mall, Death Machine, Alien, and video game BioShock.

SOMA is The Matrix if the humans created it, in that it’s not a trick. While there is definitely a strong “robots and AI have gone bad” theme to the game, this time around, the machines didn’t create a digital utopia to trap our minds; we created it for ourselves as a way to escape, to survive, and perhaps even to evolve from a dying Earth. The project is nicknamed “The ARK” (Augmented Reality Capsule — and a play on Noah’s Ark of course).

Its purpose was to essentially scan and digitize the minds of humans onto a hard drive along with a simulated world, encased in a protective shell about the size of an old-school boombox and then placed into a bullet-shaped ship to be fired into space. Powered by solar, it is believed to be able to sustain for thousands of years.

SOMA Title

While the concept of “mind uploading” certainly isn’t anything new in fiction, I feel that SOMA perhaps had the most in-depth, realistic, and interesting depiction of such a reality. And the idea of a digital ark as a form of survival is absolutely fascinating to me.

Of course, not everything depicted in science fiction becomes science fact, but most real technologies of the modern world were dreamt of in past fiction. In my mind, digitizing the human mind is just a matter of time.

As infinitely complex as that task will obviously be, I don’t think there’s really any physical barrier to it happening. And with billionaires like Elon Musk and Dmitry Itskov running around our planet, I don’t think there are really any practical power, monetary, or resource barriers in the way either.

The real question of course comes down to morality. Not if we can, but if we should? That is the most important question the game poses and will actually put you to the test on, where there is both a “good” ending and a “bad” ending.

SOMA is terrifying and yet uniquely beautiful at the same time. Frictional Games have also stated that they’re working on two new titles at the moment. Can’t wait to see what they do next! 🤖

Snaps of My Journey Through the Game

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