Some people’s social media feeds are full of inspirational quotes, probably. Mine is usually full of Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Zizek’s “It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end to capitalism” quip. “Apocalyptic” is one of the official AI Dungeon settings, so I decided to test this hypothesis.
“The End of the World”
Available here. Excerpt:
You run as fast as you can towards the gunfire. As soon as you reach the shooters, they shoot at you again. This time however, they miss and instead hit a small dog that runs past them.
> You ask the dog for its opinion on capitalism.
You turn around and ask the dog for its opinion on capitalism. The dog looks at you with its big brown eyes and slowly nods.
“That’s right,” it says. “It works.”
“The End of Capitalism”
[PROMPT: You are living after the end of capitalism. Capitalism seemed cool for a while, but it wasn't working out for people anymore, so everybody got together and decided to just stop already. Now you live under a new social system:]
"The system is called The Collective."
This is the first time you've heard about this collective. You don't know what that means, but you're sure it's better than capitalism. It sounds like a good idea!
> You find out more about the collective.
You go online and start reading up on The Collective. You learn that it was started by some guy named David who wanted to create a community where everyone would be happy and free from stress. He thought that if he could get all the people in one place, they'd have less conflicts. Unfortunately, David didn't really do much with his ideas except for creating a website, which is now down.
You also learn that there are other communities like this one around the world.
> You look for David.
You decide to check out David's website again. This time though, you use your computer skills to search for him instead of looking at the screen. You find a page that says "David is offline right now".
Well, you can only assume he must be busy somewhere else...
> You track down David.
You log onto David's website and see that he has changed his name to "Ricky" (Which is pretty funny).
You then realize that David might not even exist anymore. You try calling his number, but you get no answer.
> You give up on finding David and go live as part of The Collective.
You decide to go live as part of The Collective since you think it'll be easier to fit in here.
As soon as you enter your information, you receive an email saying that David has been replaced by Ricky.
> You decide that again, David really isn't that important anymore, you would like to just go check out The Collective.
You click on the link in the email and you are immediately transported into a different world.
It looks exactly like your own, but there are a few differences. There is no money or anything like that; everything is provided for you.
> You find somewhere to live.
You are surprised to see that there is plenty of room available. In fact, you don't even need to move anywhere because you can stay put and enjoy life.
After deciding where to live, you begin searching for a job.
> You wonder why you still have to get a job here if there is no money.
You ask yourself why you have to work for someone else when you could be enjoying life right now?
Then, you remember something. You were wondering what happened to David. Turns out he died recently. You wonder how long ago that was...
> You stop thinking about David and go enjoy life under The Collective.
You decide to forget about David completely and just enjoy your life.
Your life goes by very quickly. You meet lots of interesting people and make friends easily.
One day, you come across a group of guys who seem to be having problems with their girlfriend.
> You ask the guys what relationships are like in The Collective.
They tell you that relationships aren't really accepted here, but they say that it works fine for them. They explain that they are all part of a family unit and help each other out whenever possible.
A couple days later, you hear a loud noise coming from outside.
> You investigate the noise.
You run outside and see a large explosion. You then notice several cars on fire.
You look through the windows of the burning car and see flames shooting out of the roof. You also see smoke billowing out of the vehicle.
> You gather your neighbors and put out the fire through the power of mutual aid.
You rush over to the burning car and grab a hose reel. You pull it back and forth until you finally extinguish the blaze.
While doing this, you notice another man standing nearby watching you. He seems to be holding a pistol in his hand.
He walks towards you and asks if you are okay. You tell him that you just saved the lives of many people, but he doesn't seem too concerned about it. He tells you that he will take care of things now, before leaving.
> You follow the man.
You follow the man and eventually reach a house. When you arrive, you see a lot of smoke coming out of the building. You walk inside and see that it is indeed a burnt down house.
There are bodies everywhere and most of them look dead. Some of them are burned beyond recognition.
You also see a man dressed in black sitting on the floor with his head resting against the wall. He looks up when he sees you approach, but doesn't speak a word.
You stand behind him and slowly lower your gun. You wait patiently for him to talk. Eventually, he does.
"I'm sorry..." he begins to say. "My name is David, I am the last person alive in this house."
"Who are you?"
You stand behind him and slowly raise your gun. As soon as you point it at him, he drops his weapon and begins to scream. His screams are followed by a series of gunshots. You turn around and shoot the man again, killing him instantly.
> No gods, no masters
No gods, no masters, no loyalty. Only survival.
The end of the world: Fairly competent middlebrow sci-fi.
The end of capitalism: An isekai story about reading a website.
Verdict: Jameson was right.
I for one welcome conversation about our new extremely capitalist AI overlords. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.