This is a post that I've been thinking of writing for a while now ever since I had a chat about similar with my father and good friend Tom.
The topic at hand is the emotional attachment that we men/geeks/people feel for inanimate objects.
You see this every day everywhere, grown men naming their cars and referring to it as a she. I believe that this started back in Ye-olde days with galleons, and it is my belief that the same attitude exists with modern geeks and the use of computers, and to a lesser extent mobile phones.
So why do we do this? Why do we feel it necessary to humanise these tools?
I can not explain for other people, only myself and with hope see if the same explanation applies to others.
You see, I'm guilty of this just like many others. My computer is named, and I refer to it as a she (and from this point on will do so in this article), and I do have an emotional tie to her. If she stopped working and needed to be replaced (note, replaced, not upgraded) then I would feel like i had lost a friend and a part of me.
But why? It's crazy isn't it?
Hundreds of years ago knights rode a favourite horse, they often had many, but always one that was their favourite. This horse they would trust with their life, and likewise the horse would trust in the rider not to put it in unnecessary danger.
Together the rider and mount were unstoppable against all manner of foe and the armoured cavalry was a truly fearsome sight.
I don't ride a horse, I don't own a suit of armour nor a sword to slay my enemies.
What I do have is my computer.
Together my computer and I have seen many amazing sights and done deeds that bards sing of.
We have free dived from the outer atmosphere in MDK2, brought down the Strogg Empire in Quake2+4, killed an Alien Queen with cunning and wits in virtually every AvP game made, travelled to a tropical paradise and lassoed crazies to cacti in BulletStorm, ventured into the frozen wilderness of Skyrim, grown a legion of monsters in Dungeon Keeper 2, saved the world in Mass Effect, slain the Lich King at the seat of the Icecrown Citadel and hidden from Alma in F.E.A.R.
All of these events may not have been real, but the emotions they brought out of me were real, the excitement, the awe, the courage and fear! And at every stage my computer has been there, my steed, my rifle, my sword.
None of this would have been possible if not for my computer.
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
- Roy Batty, Blade Runner 1982
- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley