Body, Soul and Cyberspace in Contemporary Science Fiction - download pdf or read online
By S. Magerstädt
Physique, Soul and our on-line world explores how contemporary science-fiction cinema solutions questions on physique and soul, virtuality, and spirituality within the electronic age by way of linking cinematic topics with spiritual, philosophical and moral strategies.
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Extra resources for Body, Soul and Cyberspace in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema: Virtual Worlds and Ethical Problems
For Douglas, the virtuality of the simulated world does not make it a morality-free zone. 0006 Soul – Cyber-Spirituality and Immortality 45 The audience associate with Douglas as a morally conscious human being, but this idea is soon challenged, when we (and Douglas) realize that his world, too, is just a simulation. Like the virtual Ashton before, he is now confronting (although less aggressively) his creator. In this case, it is his love interest Jane (Gretchen Mol). When he asks Jane how many simulated worlds are out there, she replies that there are thousands.
The Colonel wants him to wake up and face reality, but for Sully his human life no longer is his reality. Accordingly, the final step for the hero is to fully immerse himself in the new world by leaving the restrictions of his human body behind and dispose of it – a neat solution to the challenging concept of mortality. The human body is no longer part of his identity, it has become inadequate and hampering, whereas his artificial Na’vi body liberates him – physically as well as psychologically.
This loyalty only ceases when he becomes a Na’vi warrior – replacing one soldier peer group with another. This indicates that although he may change sides, he cannot change his profession and his inner affinity towards challenge, adventure and combat. In a sense, Jake Sully incorporates all three elements of postmodern society described before: As a man/machine hybrid in his connection with his avatar; with regard to the fragmentation of his environment and his mental state by being constantly torn between different groups and ideologies; and finally relating to the hyper-real Na’vi environment he operates in, which for him becomes increasingly more real than his actual human life.
Body, Soul and Cyberspace in Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema: Virtual Worlds and Ethical Problems by S. Magerstädt