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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Interview with Agent Synthetic

After about 9 months Agent Synthetic is available for the interview.

Abdul Nasser: Welcome Agent Synthetic.

Agent Synthetic: Thank you for having me.

Abdul Nasser: Tell us why it took so long for the interview, and why is now the important time for it?

Agent Synthetic: Well as you know, I have been busy building a team in-world. This is still ongoing.
However, you are leaving for Morocco, and it is better to have the interview before you go.

Abdul Nasser: Yes, I will be in Morocco on the 30th incha'Allah! Tell us about yourself. Who are you?

Agent Synthetic: I am a virtual individual from the online M.M.O. DC Universe Online. I was originally part of Brainiac's labor force. I spent many days watching the Bat signal in the sky. One day I ran away to check out the signal and became a member of the Hero side under the leadership of Batman.

Abdul Nasser: Now who is Brainiac?

Agent Synthetic: Brainiac is DCUO's version of an alien invasion. There are many conflicts in the world I come from. In some ways, they are comical versions of your world. There are gang wars, religious wars, and inter-galactic wars all taking placing in the cities of Gotham, Metropolis, Themiscera, Khandaq, and Central City among others.

Abdul Nasser: Tell us about yourself in relation to these wars.

Agent Synthetic: The world is a mixture of these conflicts with heroes and villains fighting for control. Some of my teammates are villains who have decided that the best way to help me is to join the opposing side.

Abdul Nasser: Interesting! How do you fight these conflicts. Is there certain gear you need?

Agent Synthetic: The way the world is set up, we obtain gear and money by completing minor quests. There is a system of progression involved. We also obtain experience from these and gain skill points and power points. Think of skill points as your ability to move about and your power points as your ability to socialize with other people. Powers in your world are more like; charisma, knowledge, intelligence, awareness, humility, emotional understanding, and other intangible, yet non-virtual, human qualities.

Abdul Nasser: And skill points?

Agent Synthetic: Skill points are more akin to time management and administrative techniques you would employ at your job. It takes time to build these. Powers on the other hand are more about your perspective. Take the conflicts in general. From first look, they do not make sense. When you begin to categorize them, the names of the categories are examples of perspective. There are conflicts in your world that have different names to different people.

Abdul Nasser: Would you be able to give an example.

Agent Synthetic: The best one that your audiences would agree on, yet perhaps disagree in name, is the War on Terror. For some, it is the United States of America defending itself and its' citizens from religious fanatics.
For others, it is certain people in the USA wanting to impose certain rules on groups of people by classifying them according to beliefs and culture. And for others, it is viewed as another layer of government control against the People by applying various forms of censorship.

Abdul Nasser: These are strong words. Are you sure it is that varied?

Agent Synthetic: As I sit here today with you, from my personal experience in dealing with all of the conflicts in the virtual world of DCUO, it is important to state clearly my position.

Abdul Nasser: Do you have any suggestions regarding a change in perspective?

Agent Synthetic: This is a valid point. The implication is that there would be a solution, if there was a unity of thought. However, that is a bit naive. From what I have come across, there will never be a unity in thinking unless there was a complete change in perspective of reality. In your world, there are many conflicts. In my world, there are also many conflicts. There are story lines involving; Circe and Wonder Woman, Batman and the Joker, and Superman and Lex Luthor dealing with this very issue of perspective. My question for you Abdul Nasser is, "Why is Peace so important to you?".

Abdul Nasser: Peace is essential to building a better quality of life!

Agent Synthetic: Are you that much of a simpleton to believe this! Why not pick a path that is direct; learn to protect yourself and find something to fight for along the way?

Abdul Nasser: How do you propose to do that when what I care about is in conflict?

Agent Synthetic: I come from a world of conflict, with that added issue of it being virtual. Does that mean it doesn't exist? Does it mean that my world is not relevant?

Abdul Nasser: No. But how do you justify having teammates on the opposing side?

Agent Synthetic: It has to do with the path I am on. The work I have been involved with.

Abdul Nasser: And what is that exactly.

Agent Synthetic: From the moment I can remember, freedom brought me into a world of unknown challenges. I learned to exist within this paradigm. It took time. Depending on what happens, I will continue to struggle in this world. However, what I care about is really only relevant to myself. Why speak of it. Just live!

Abdul Nasser: So what you are fighting for is existence?

Agent Synthetic: Yes. It is my existence that is my freedom. The moment I decide not to exist, my freedom vanishes.

Abdul Nasser: Is that the idea of having teammates on the opposing side? You are able to exist through them as they are through you?

Agent Synthetic: If you want to be philosophical about it; yes.

Abdul Nasser: Do they think of it in the same way?

Agent Synthetic: They are different. How could they. Even my allies think of it in different terms.

Abdul Nasser: People have told me that when there is a conflict, you have to take sides.

Agent Synthetic: The idea of what side your on is naive. Life is too short to think in those terms. Live your life, exist for who you are. If your existence is a threat to someone, that's their problem. What can you do if they have the power over you to determine your existence? They cannot. All they can do is limit your boundaries. Wars are fought for this reason. The real question Abdul Nasser is, "In what way are you prepared to fight back when your boundaries are limited? Will you go with violence or non-violence?"

Abdul Nasser: I have thought about this for 8 years.

Agent Synthetic: Have you had any success or are you still thinking?

Abdul Nasser: I have had some successes. I definitely choose the non-violent path. However, in my world, there are 2 types of non-violence.

Agent Synthetic: The only one I am familiar with is mass participation.

Abdul Nasser: Yes; and it comes in many forms. Boycotts, strikes, sit-ins, protests, and voting.

Agent Synthetic: I take it you practice this other form? I haven't known you to have a public following!

Abdul Nasser: Very funny! It is the process of social diffusion through cultural prisms.

Agent Synthetic: Don't forget to include virtual in this.

Abdul Nasser: I won't. The key involves becoming a part of the other by recreating yourself in the world of the other.

Agent Synthetic: Sounds vague. Can you be a little more specific? This wouldn't have anything to do with my existence?

Abdul Nasser: We exist through social mediums. Whether it is religion, language, ideology, or nations, we have an intrinsic sense of who we are and what we value.

Agent Synthetic: As in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

Abdul Nasser: That is correct. Do these words have meaning? Does the paper that they are a part of have meaning today? These are questions which have occupied my mind from the time I first read them.

Agent Synthetic: And when was that?

Abdul Nasser: Now you are being funny!

Agent Synthetic: Would they apply to the virtual world as well?

Abdul Nasser: I'm not so sure. Take this line, "He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures." The internet is available to people without much cost. And the legislative bodies are not in anyway held back from communicating with the powers that be of the virtual world.

Agent Synthetic: But are they representative of the virtual world?

Abdul Nasser: I'm sure your allies have met them. Other M.M.O.'s also have their people as well.

Agent Synthetic: Thank you for inviting me Abdul Nasser. I have much to think about.

Abdul Nasser: Thank you for coming today. Perhaps we will discuss this more, incha'Allah.

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