SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is known for his futuristic ambitions that remind a lot of gamers of our favorite sci-fi video games. Turns out that this is no coincidence, as the Silicon Valley guru has surprisingly good taste in games and credits some of them with sparking his imagination and ambition.
Aside from his ambitions for manned space travel, clean energy and affordable electric cars, Musk has recently made headlines for getting into the AI business. Not only is Musk going to help teach robots how to play video games, but he's put his considerable financial muscle behind an initiative that seeks to integrate computer intelligence with our own puny, fleshy brains.
Do Musk's hi-tech, science fiction style aspirations draw any inspiration from his favorite video games? Check out this list of games that the real-life Tony Stark likes to unwind with:
Overwatch, the video game that reminded us all how to feel love in the dark times of 2016, is one of Musk's favorites. And Musk was quick on the ball—his first tweet about the game was in June, soon after the game launched.
Elon Musk has confirmed that he's playing the game on PC, because come on of course he is. But for quite some time he was quite cagey about his main, fending off questions and speculation.
But the truth came out, and now we know that Musk mains Soldier 76, a dependable hero who some fans find somewhat dull compared to the more colorful characters in the roster. But Musk's all about efficiency, baby.
Another first person shooter, BioShock is a very different beast from Overwatch. BioShock is a smart, challenging shooter with an Ayn Rand-inspired narrative that explores unusually weighty themes of objectivism, capitalism, utopianism and power.
No wonder then that Musk, a multi-billionaire with big ideas on how to use his money to effect social change and transhumanism, finds something compelling about the world of BioShock.
3. 'Mass Effect'
Musk is seriously passionate about space exploration, having said that he wants to die on Mars (although not upon impact, obviously). So of course he loves Mass Effect, BioWare's epic space opera series about humanity struggling for its future among the stars. He's called the second game in the series 'one of the best games ever.' He's not wrong!
Check out the Andromeda Initiative trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda and tell me is doesn't look like something Musk would set up in real life:
No doubt Musk is digging the heavy focus on exploration and colonization of new worlds that Mass Effect: Andromeda brings to the table. And the appreciation is mutual, as Andromeda has even included an easter egg specifically paying tribute to Musk and SpaceX.
4. The Fallout Franchise
The Fallout games may vary in quality and tone from title to title, but they're all stories about choice and consequence in a world shattered by nuclear war. The world of Fallout provides a cautionary tale of the failure of our society due to unchecked aggression, but doesn't wallow in it. With the collapse of the old order, there's an opportunity to build a new one.
5. The Civilization Series
The Civilization games are seriously in-depth management sims where you can guide your people from prehistoric nomads all the way up to a highly advanced, space-faring culture.
Musk's progressive view of society and technology, in which technological advancement and social development go hand in hand, fits well with Civ's grand narrative of world history. I'll bet he really pushes for that science victory.
6. 'Saint's Row IV'
I have to compliment Musk on his taste here for favoring Saints Row over the more mainstream GTA franchise (sorry, fan -boys and -girls). A wonderfully anarchic, tongue-in-cheek crime sandbox, Saints Row IV sees the leader of the titular Saints gang ascend to the US presidency, with explosive results.
7. 'Kerbal Space Program'
One of Musk's favorite games is Kerbal Space Program, an indie title in which you're tasked with building a working spaceship, which is...pretty much exactly what he does in real life?
That's some real dedication, Musk. At least in Kerbal Space Program you can mess around and have a few failed launches with little consequence.
Mad old-school props to Musk for name-dropping 1994's WarCraft: Orcs and Humans, the game that got the ball rolling on Blizzard's sprawling fantasy franchise that's still going strong today with games like World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, both of which are descendants of this Warhammer-inspired RTS.
Although it's pretty dated by modern standards, the original WarCraft is still a solid game, and you can easily play it (and the sequel) online for free nowadays.
9. 'Dungeons And Dragons'
Ok, so D&D is not technically a video game, but so many aspects of video games today can be traced back to this classic tabletop RPG. Musk apparently enjoys playing with some other celebrity friends, notably Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park.
10. Our Reality Itself?
Musk has gone on record backing the 'simulation theory' of reality, claiming that there's a 'one in billions' chance that we're not all living in a hyperrealistic video game built by an technologically advanced civilization.
Despite veering into stoner pop philosophy the argument has some logic to it, if you imagine technological capability expanding exponentially. Luckily, this belief hasn't discouraged Musk from trying to make a difference in our reality as we experience it. Presumably, in the game of life, he's racking up a decent score.
Gamers Are The Future
Our younger readers might want to point to Musk's $11.5 billion net worth when their parents get on their case about playing too many video games. Musk won't be the first gamer to become a billionaire with roots in what used to be considered a niche, geeky medium.
When the gaming generation finally comes into their own and heads the world stage, who knows how many great ideas and innovations of the future will have been inspired by the fantasies we played out on our monitors?
Just lay easy on the simulation stuff, entrepreneurs of the future. We've got a real world to save and a real universe out there to explore.
What do you think of Elon Musk's taste in video games? Are there any you'd recommend to him?
(Source: Business Insider)