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.

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May 20, 2008
Hey Scott,

That's a nice idea. Maybe Dilbert can be one of the humans being influenced by the aliens. And Dogbert, perhaps, could be the aliens' leader or something.

Great stuff! I'd love to watch a movie based on this, or read cartoon strips on it.

- Vasudha :)
May 20, 2008
Genius. That was like reading a little novel. How fun is that? Thanks.

Rita Mae

PS I'm training the new girl. Her name is Teri. She's very nice. I haven't said "PENIS" yet, but I will before the week is over. BWAHAHAHAHAHA
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May 20, 2008
I've occasionally toyed with writing a computer game that works in a similar way, based on the structure of social networks that generate between non-player characters. Success would rely on being able to work out what rules govern the formation of those networks (and these would change depending on what happened within the networks and due to external events) and thereby working out which NPCs are likely to have the biggest impact in achieving some goal. Moves in the game would involve manipulating NPCs in similar abstract ways (their motivations, desires, aggressiveness etc.) and seeing how the environment responds, based on the network dynamics.

Of course, it is likely that I'm the only one who would play the game. Otherwise, a massively-multiplayer version, where nobody knew who was a NPC and who was a real person, might be pretty cool.
May 20, 2008
Best Science Fiction Movie Plot Ever
May 20, 2008

This is pretty strange. It sounds like something a couple stoners would come up with after smoking a few...

Anyway, it's good stuff. I would definitely watch it.

May 20, 2008
Are you playing The Sims?
May 20, 2008
Hmm your plot has some religious overtones. The aliens remind me of demons trying to influence people.
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May 20, 2008
Hi Scott,

So why would I watch it now? Thanks for ruining the ending. Next time try publishing it. You do have some experience with writing and TV shows somewhere in your past, don't you? Give it a try, SciFi channel is always putting new stuff on the air, yours sounded as good as some of the other programs I've seen.

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May 20, 2008
What if the Aliens are just part of another Aliens contest ? Remember its Turtles all the way down !
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May 20, 2008
Has anyone noticed that the aliens have ramped up Scotts paranoia
May 20, 2008
You know, people get paid cash money for doing what you just did here for free. Next time, have your people get with JJ Abrams' people or something and get this film made. Looks like there's enough to work with there to make a great movie. And no, the aliens didn't influence me to tell you that...I think. :P
May 20, 2008
Isaac Asimov wrote a story with some similarities, called "Spell my name with an 'S'!", in which aliens in disguise convince a scientist to change the Z in his last name to an S, which eventually has all sorts of global consequences.

In fact, Isaac Asimov wrote a story using *every* sci-fi idea.
May 20, 2008
Don't tell me you're becoming a Scientologist!
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