ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

Oh the Wachowski's, how they giveth and then how they taketh away. Blessing us with the mesmerizingly iconic, leather-clad hack-fest in 1999, they then swiftly undid all of their brilliant pioneering work by cursing us with its dire sequels: The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

However, in this unimaginative world of reboots, prequels, sequels and spinoffs, no potentially lucrative franchise can remain safe from the chubby, grubby fingers of the studio bigwigs and so, precisely nobody was surprised when the Hollywood Reporter announced that Warner Brothers was in talks to restart the Matrix all over again.

While the Wachowski's and none of the original cast members are attached to the reboot so far, Zak Penn the co-creator of Alphas and contributor to the screenplays of The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers and X-Men: The Last Stand, is.

Whether you view this as a delightful development or a hellish travesty, the question remains, in this time of Google goggles, cyberattacks and Elon Musk, just how will today's technological advancements shape the upcoming Matrix relaunch?

Ignorance Is Bliss? Opting In And Out Of A Virtual Reality

Given that in the movies The Matrix is an immersive virtual reality which humans, without consent, are hooked up to from birth, it seems that with recent strides towards incorporating both virtual and augmented realities into our everyday lives, we're striving one step closer to 'opting in' to The Matrix.

Whether this comes in the form of softer augmented realities such as Pokemon Go which had us walking into oncoming traffic to capture a Wigglytuff, or the more immersive virtual reality tech as demonstrated above by dabbling detective Jessica Fletcher, all technological advances seem to be encouraging us to hook on up to the digital grid.

The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]
The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]

This could play out in the Matrix movie franchise in quite an interesting way. With the franchise ending with The Oracle and The Architect agreeing to allow people to 'opt out' of the Matrix so as to live in the gritty, real world we could see an interesting exploration in to what it truly means to live in a world in which we chose blissful ignorance over a grim reality.

The Matrix As A Virtual Marketing Paradise

Given that every email we send through Gmail, every google doc we create, and every Gchat conversation in which we bitch wildly about out colleagues is being faithfully stored in Google's gargantuan cloud and analyzed to optimize targeted marketing, we can be sure that whoever owns the Matrix, also owns our wallets.

The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]
The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]

With Facebook, Twitter and Instagram perpetually showering us with adverts related to our stats, app usage, photos, contacts, conversations and browsing history, just imagine the potential for in-app purchases for The Architect of an opt-in Matrix. Being able to carefully study how we choose to act within virtual reality, we'll be subject to tailored made marketing packages which will no doubt see us shelling out bundles of virtual cash (akin to Bitcoin) to buy our way into the "lady in the red dress" simulation.

Sustaining An Opt-In Matrix With Synthetic Food & Floating Farms

Famously being sustained on a diet of the liquified remains of the deceased, the fetus fields of the unconscious humans plugged into the Matrix do not have the healthiest of diets. However, the reality of humans being able to actually survive on a diet of the dead alone, would certainly not be enough to sustain them in real life.

Consequently, The Matrix reboots would do well to incorporate some of our modern technological advances where sustenance is concerned to make an opt-in Matrix reality more convincing.

The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]
The Matrix [Credit: Warner Brothers]

With huge advancements in generating viable synthetic food produce such as the startup 'Impossible Foods' creating meat-like products which use 74% less water, 95% less land mass and 87% less greenhouse gas than your average burger and architects designing "floating farms" capable of producing up to 8.1 tonnes of vegetables a year, the possibilities for supporting a virtual Matrix are plentiful!

Killing Our Physical Bodies And Living Forever In A Matrix Afterlife

Black Mirror [Credit: Netflix]
Black Mirror [Credit: Netflix]

While not actually technologically possible as of yet, Black Mirror Season 3 explored the idea of what it'd be like if we were able to upload our consciousness into a digital cloud. This would mean we could forgo the need for a host body so that when the human body eventually died it wouldn't matter as the mind would already be "alive" in a virtual universe.

This virtual cloud universe is essentially synonymous with the idea of a Matrix, suggesting that eventually, we would be able to overcome the need to be physically alive and sustaining ourselves in the fetus fields at all. Consequently, "opting in" to the Matrix could ultimately become a decision to actively kill the physical body in order for the mind to live forever within a blissful virtual paradise. Uplifting hey!


Would you opt in or opt out of The Matrix?


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