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I Tues You: Electric Tortoise

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Electric Tortoise

by Dillon Rogers and Joe Baxter-Webb

Query: Why do robots and detectives go so well together? There is this secret pop cultural formula in slamming two completely unrelated things together to see if they’ll stick. Sometimes they do. Looney Tunes + basketball. Mustache + Joaquin Phoenix. Pineapples + ducks + Mexico. Kanye West + Lady Gaga, Other times, not so much. Zombies + Jane Austen. Cowboys + aliens. Superpowers + Milo Ventimiglia. But robots + detectives can do no wrong.  Tezuka’s Metropolis. Almost Human. Even the film version of I, Robot was pretty alright (mainly because of this line).

Proposition: The robot-detective tandem engages both the logical and emotional sides of investigation. This makes sense to me. Motives are psychological. Violent crimes are usually borne of passion. The cold deductions of the robot will intersect with the streetwise intuition of the detective. This makes for good conflict. This is how buddy cop comedies are perfected.

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Proceeding: Through tempered atmosphere, non-standard scene transitions and branching dialogue, Electric Tortoise matches the fractured wits of a very human detective with the (not entirely) objective account of a helper android. You cross-examine the android’s testimony to determine its guilt. The crime is murder. There’s no evidence, no crime scene–just the words of an android, sole witness and prime suspect.

Analysis: Isaac Aasimov’s Rules are in full play here but Dillon Rogers bends them till they warp. What measure is a non-human when confronted with a morally ambiguous choice?  What is humanity if you give a man a gun and take away accountability? How do you define ‘harm’?

Recommendation: Investigate Electric Tortoise here. Or by clicking any of the pictures.

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About Job Duanan

Job believes that pixels are building blocks of love and understanding.

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This entry was posted on 22 April 2014 by in Highlights and tagged , , , , , .
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