Crystal Ball

What’s The Best Way To Predict The Future?

According to Abraham Lincoln and Peter Drucker, the best way to predict the future is to create it. So goes the quote, most often attributed to one or both of those guys. The reason that I, and millions like me, are so excited about Virtual Reality is that it takes our “powers of creation” (and therefore prediction) to the next level. Architects can walk through virtually-rendered buildings before they’ve been built, confirm (or refute) any ideas they may have had about the design, and then return to the drawing board to refine that design. Without a single brick having been laid!

Which brings me on to the most important theme in the “Solarversia project” – something called mimesis. Grossly simplified, mimesis concerns the way in which art imitates life, something that has been thought about since the time of Socrates and Plato. Fast forward to the 19th century, and we have Oscar Wilde holding the exact opposite position (anti-mimesis), and his famous quote, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”.

Virtual Reality’s power to take our “powers of creation” to the next level seems to have a powerful effect on people. The best known book about a game played in VR is Ready Player One, by Ernie Cline (link to a long article I wrote on the book). Let’s look at how he sought to imitate his own fictional creation in the real world:

  • He created a real world contest with a prize (which is what the book’s about)
  • He designed the contest to resemble the fictional one (three hidden gates that contained three challenges)
  • The challenges resembled the ones in the book (they were all video-game related)
  • He created a scoreboard to show how well players were doing (there’s a scoreboard in the book)
  • The grand prize was a Delorean, which was James Halliday’s car in the book (Halliday was the billionaire creator of the OASIS, the name of the book’s VR gameworld.)

In short, I thought Cline did an amazing job of bringing his creation to life, and I’m sorry I didn’t know about the book (and the contest) at the time. Actually, I think it’s fair to say that he couldn’t have done much more, even if he had tried (the fictional prize was the OASIS itself for instance, said to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Not something Cline could have made real!)

What’s really interesting to me is that I designed Solarversia from the ground up in a very similar way, independently of Cline and RPO (I had the original “vision” back in 2010), hence my assertion that “VR seems to have a powerful effect on people.” Here’s how I plan to make life imitate my art:

  • Incorporate Spiralwerks (the fictional company that makes Solarversia) in the real world
  • Create the Player’s Grid for real
  • Create the Golden Grid for real
  • Create Solarversia for real, to launch on the same date as in the book (29th Feb 2020)
  • Make the real game resemble the fictional one as closely as possible

I took another big step yesterday when I completed the first of the those steps – I incorporated Spiralwerks in the real world. It now exists for real and will enable the all-important process of securing investment (which I hope to get following the book’s success, once I have multiple revenue streams from book sales, merchandise sale and movie rights).

Exciting times!




Featured image is Playing Futures by Centralasian

Available to use under Creative Commons license.


Solarversia is brought to you by Toby Downton