Home
I like to concoct concepts for science fiction movies and do nothing with them. Lately my favorite concept involves aliens who are having a sort of sporting contest that involves humanity, unbeknownst to us. Somehow the competing teams of aliens can see our world through our eyes when they want to, and can influence our actions by ramping up or down on our desires. They can't control our specific actions, just our general propensities, making us, for example, hungrier or hornier or lazier than normal whenever that would be a strategic advantage in the game.

There would be some rules of the game, such as only one alien can influence one human at a time, and maybe an alien team can influence no more than five people per game. So most people would not be under the direct influence of the aliens at any given moment. They would be random elements of the game.

The plot of the movie would involve a brain surgeon who discovers the control mechanism in all of our brains. It would be organic in nature, but sending and receiving some sort of control signal that hadn't ever been discovered before. The brain surgeon would be trying to unravel the mystery and detach humanity from the game while at the same time the aliens are having their Superbowl equivalent match that might result in WWIII.

The aliens live many light years from Earth, having visited only once several billion years ago to influence evolution in a way that would turn us into their living chess pieces. They didn't mind waiting billions of years because they have been doing the same game-making process since the beginning of time and there is always a new world somewhere coming online. They like to think ahead. They are immortal, so having game pieces that can die allows them to experience the preciousness of life vicariously.

In the end, the brain surgeon discovers that humans have a synergistic arrangement with the aliens that helps us just as much as it helps them. If we were not part of their game, our lives would be dull and meaningless. So he decides to keep it to himself. The aliens reward him for his silence by filling whatever hole he had in his personality up until that point. For example, they might give him the capacity to feel love.

In the final minute we discover that even the brain surgeon's search for the truth of the game had been part of the game.


 
Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +23
  • Print
  • Share
  • Share:

Comments

Sort By:
May 20, 2008
This could explain my sudden and otherwise inexplicable predilection for Welsh scrabble. I'm not sure exactly how, but it could.
 
 
May 20, 2008
A good idea, might want to check out a story " The Game of Blood And Dust" by Roger Zelanzny before you copywrite though. It written some time in the seventies.
 
 
-4 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2008
I liked this better the first time, when it was called The Bible.

Even though your blog has been neutered moving away from typescript.com, you still insist on trying to explain religion.
 
 
May 20, 2008
High concept.
 
 
May 20, 2008
What you have said is very close to the literal truth, except with a few small (but important) pieces of disinformation.

They are not aliens - they are humans. They live here on earth, not light-years away. They are mortal and fallible. They are using technological systems that can be understood by anybody willing and able to study certain scientific and technical concepts. They operate other human beings for a variety of reasons, some petty, some noble. Their groups are in conflict with one another over what to do with their human 'properties.'

Reject messages telling you that action is futile. Reject messages telling you that this situation is good for you and you ought to like it and be happy about it. If taking action were really hopeless, we wouldn't need anybody reminding us over and over again how hopeless it is to do anything. A truly powerful attacker doesn't brag about how strong he is - he merely does what he needs to do. He doesn't waste his time walking around telling everybody that resistance is futile. And if the situation really were good for us, we'd just sit here being happy and we wouldn't need anybody telling us we ought to be happy.

We are not machines; we are people. We are meant to be free. Slavery is NOT good for us. Human slavery is evil.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2008
Pretty high concept. Now summarize it in 3 sentences to sell it to the suits.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2008
Sounds like the original Iliad (that war in Troy, remember?) in which the immortal gods play with mortals' desires and plans, making them hornier or braver or whatever, wreaking havoc and generally creating great entertainment as they perch invisibly on the city walls and watch.
 
 
May 20, 2008
Thanks for spoiling the ending for me! Now I don't want to see your stupid movie....
 
 
May 20, 2008
Scott,

There is a VERY similar story written by Frank Herbert called The Heaven Makers (author of the Dune series).

The aliens are immortal, and live vicariously through humans, but instead of a game its a tv show with directors on earth influencing us to make the show more interesting. The book focuses on a man who after an accident can almost see the aliens as they influence us, and is trying to stop them.

Funny how even a very unique idea almost always seems to have been thought of before.

Dan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heaven_Makers
 
 
May 20, 2008
Scott,

As a long-time sci-fi fan, I find your plot very intriguing. It reminds me of a Star Trek episode in which aliens control other intelligent beings for their own entertainment. Keep up the good work. I really love Dilbert.
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2008
What’s even weirder is the sequel. It turns out that the aliens are mere manifestations of our own consciousnesses, born from our convoluted notions about our own free will.
A clever cartoonist from California comes to realize the startling truth and begins to wonder about the nature of the universe. He wonders how the human race managed to conjure up these aliens and imbue them with the ability to control our base desires. Does this mean that the human mind can in fact control its inner desires but only through a third party alien intermediary which was created by those very same minds? If he alerts humanity to the aliens’ existence, would awareness of those aliens cause them to cease to exist? And if the aliens ceased to exist would humanity’s desires cease to exist with them?
In the climactic scene it turns out that the leader of the Aliens has actually been directly controlling the cartoonist the whole time. The resulting paradox creates a black hole in the centre of the cartoonist’s brain. Over the next six billion years the black hole amasses all of the matter in the entire universe into a pin head of infinite mass and then explodes in an enormous Big Bang
 
 
May 20, 2008
The RSS feed shows up weird. No line breaks or graphics. :(
 
 
May 20, 2008
Isaac Asimov wrote something much more similar to this than "Spell my Name". It's in the Fundation trilogy, where the members of the very secret second fundation have a master plan to follow, and try to change the smallest possible set of thoughts inside the smallest possible number of people's brains to reach their goal.
 
 
0 Rank Up Rank Down
May 20, 2008
In some ways this plot is not that far off from an episode in season 3 of the SciFi channel show Stargate Atlantis, "The Game". Of course there the game almost causes a religious war if I remember correctly.
 
 
May 20, 2008
Can you fix the formatting on the RSS feed? I love the posts, but they're a little more difficult to read without paragraphs.

Thanks!
 
 
May 20, 2008
You should start selling these ideas to either the sci-fi channel or to authors who are running out of ideas for new books. You could make money from your share of the royalties.
 
 
May 20, 2008
Isn't your idea a bit like "2001: A Space Odyssey"? Frank P.
 
 
May 20, 2008
that is the basic plot from "wine of the dreamers". can't remember the author, I read it when I was in my teens
 
 
May 20, 2008
...and in the final twist, it turns out that a human named Ahmed Chalabi is controlling the aliens with an emulation of a virtual quantum computer hosted in a Windows session of VirtualPC, allowing him to move instantly back and forth in time, but only when he tells a deliberate lie to any person named Douglas Feith or Feith Douglas.
 
 
May 20, 2008
I do the same thing, Scott. I create the stories as sort of a meditation practice to help me get to sleep. I use them to distract me from whatever stress or occupying thought keeps me awake sometimes. As I lay there, I pick one of the stories I have in my head and add to it and flush out the details. It breaks me out of the loop of going through the "To Do" list in my head or worrying about tomorrow. My current concoction involves aliens coming to the planet and taking away 99.9% of the people leaving 1 out of 1000 people behind. I play the central character who is one of the "left behind" as he organizes and rebuilds what he can of civilization, saving people and making do with the complete loss of the current infrastructure. It's not a terribly special cliched "Post Apocalypse" story, but it distracts me.
 
 
 
Get the new Dilbert app!
Old Dilbert Blog