A game that reduces the struggles of scientific and philosophical pursuit and does the opposite for poultry products makes me think a bit.
In the near future, the secrets of the universe will be unlocked in the chicken egg. You have decided to get in on the gold rush and sell as many eggs as you can.
This is the idea behind Egg, Inc., a clicker (tap-to-do-stuff-and-just-tap-really) game for Android and iOS devices. You make an egg farm. Your egg farm is populated by chicken you created by tapping on your screen, and the amount of money you’re making is determined by the speed at which the chicken are being put out of the hatchery and into their coop. That’s a simple idea, and the most milquetoast premise a typical mobile game meant for a player to play without putting in much mind, can have. What really interested me, not in the way an intelligent person would be interested in a simplistic thing that they think can be used as inspiration for something new and groundbreaking, but a lot more in a “haha, ha, this is funny” way, was the “potrayal” of the egg in the game. An Egg, and I am giving it a capitalisation because for the context of this game, the Egg is everything.
Wouldn’t you all want a cure for what is now a blacklisted word for a lot of content creators on YouTube to say? I mean, you know what I am talking about. Well, just the third evolution out of 19 is the Medical Egg, which as the game tells me, can do this:
All I am saying is, sign me up for this.
This is the more (hopefully) topical example. But for someone coming across this in the future post-Covid, how would you like to use the Egg to teleport? Quite indiscriminately, too. It’s the Egg that the chicken I hatched by tapping on my screen (which is screaming at me to stop abusing it I think, despite screens usually being durable in the way that your brain is good with solving complicated math problems, but is very weak against traumatic impact) that will enable you to do that. Or the Egg that lets you transcend mortality. The fountain of youth is a chicken’s cloaca, really.
I decide to abstain from the absurdity of the sums of money that this game shows you have earned, because that is very much beside the point. It is a game after all. And in games, a concept is either absurd without proper context, or is meant to be so deliberately as a reflection of real life, in some manner; I can be sure it’s both those things here, simultaneously. This game gives me the inspiration to write on Medium for the first time, and it’s really not about the game that much at all. I do not have a reason, the motivation, or a cheque from Auxbrain Inc. that makes me write this. It’s the idyllic, almost comforting idea of the Egg that makes me write this.
A thing that turned out to be the solution of ALL our problems first, and then helped us humans achieve everything our kind wanted, from complete mobility and familiarity (and for the ambitious lot among us, domination) over the universe AND the multiverse, and complete enlightenment. How utopian would it be to have everything be achieved by an evolution of something as simple and as menial as an egg? But when you imagine something of that sort, and all of humanity, all of life and everything else in the universe seems a little unfulfilled, at the same time as it all feeling great and easy and relaxing. It is all of these things, it’s all there is good in the world for us, and then some, so why the conflict?
I am not well-read enough to identify the philosophical theory, logic or an explanation behind this duality, so it mostly becomes a readers’ exercise, to identify and address why would having an Egg entity ultimately be a detriment to humanity and our collective ambition. What makes me feel this way, personally, is the question that goes verbatim: “Really? An egg? The answer to everything? Stephen Hawking walked so that the chicken could run?”. Let the silence linger for the right amount of time here. Everything we probably ever did was in pursuit of evolution, OF THE EGG? It really sounds like a bad ending to me. And for something as big as humanity, you have to try really hard to have an ending this anti-climactic. At least nuclear annhilation feels like heart-racing to me. What does poultry have in common with adrenaline?
The fact of the matter really is that we might have a simple answer to “everything” as it goes, but the search for it will have us looking places most of us would not think of. And I think it will be the search of if that will give us reason to believe in the legitimacy of the solution we have managed to find. A kind of “it’s the journey that counts” reason to believe in it. Or it could just be pie in the sky, something that we can only dream of. Idealism of the highest form. But, it certainly is something to think about, in my view.
And what if it is the Egg? Not to make a joke at the expense of veganism, but they will have an interesting choice to make. And for all, it would be an amusing idea to wonder about. Someone else also must have stumbled down this rabbit hole of thought, with some other motivation behind it all. For me, it was Egg, Inc. Try it. You will be bored in a few hours, too.