Seen Elon Musks’ Twitter feed lately? Some might be puzzled at the picture being used as a profile snap by the Tesla man. Well, it is a picture from the packaging of a classic video game. The game was called Deus Ex and was released by Ion Storm in late 2000, and the picture is of its main protagonist, JC Denton.
So why has Musk opted for this as a DP? Well, Musk is known for his fondness for video games in general and Deus Ex is a particular favourite. Speaking in an interview a few years ago (https://www.pcgamer.com/elon-musk-says-overwatch-is-amazing-but-his-heart-belongs-to-deus-ex/), he said “I think [storytelling in games] is really neglected. That’s the criticism I heard of the latest Deus Ex, that the storytelling is kind of lame. Whereas the prior Deus Ex, and the original Deus Ex, the storytelling was amazing.”
But there could be more to it than just a CEO putting a favourite game character as a DP. Deus Ex is actually based in 2052 where a virus called the Gray Death is killing people, and has caused a global crisis. JC Denton, the main character of the game, is actually part human and part machine (a nano-augmented agent). He is part of the United Nations Anti-Terrorist Coalition (UNATCO), and well, is sent on a mission to tackle a terrorist organisation.’
Things get complicated when he realises that there is a vaccine for the Gray Death but certain parties are trying to keep it only for the wealthy and well-off. Denton is caught between several options – gags fighting for the vaccine, terrorists who claim they are seeking independence and of course, the government itself that insists that law and order be preserved. The game was basically a role-playing action game but made headlines for its storyline which was an incredible blend of conspiracy theories – it actually ends in the very controversial Area 51, and has multiple endings, each of which could change the world. You could end up creating a dictatorship or handing power over to cliques and businesses and more!
Bring that forward to the current period. There is a virus wreaking havoc with the world, and there are people wondering whether the governments are actually handling it the right way. Musk himself has been rather typically vocal with his opinions on the lockdown. And well, there are plenty of conspiracy theories in the air. Interesting, huh? Musk himself stated that the current world situation “feels like the plot of Deus Ex” on Twitter on March 30 (https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1241104391706304512?lang=en
If you have the time and inclination, you could play Deus Ex to find out more for yourself. The graphics might seem dated but the gameplay and storytelling are compelling. What’s more, you can get the game for less than a Dollar from Good Old Games at https://www.gog.com/game/deus_ex.
Deus Ex, incidentally, comes from a Latin phrase “Deus Ex Machina” and literally means “god from a machine.” Not too inappropriate for the boss of Tesla, eh?