Who wants to go drone hunting with me?
Everybody? That’s great! You are very brave, and I love you.
But we have to make it interesting. No guns. No EMP-blasts. We can’t even use gunpowder.
Fourteenth-century weapons only. Middle Ages stuff. Like this hero, a Russian man taking part in a medieval reenactment. He decided the camera drone swooping through just didn’t fit the theme (kill the sound if you don’t like techno):
Check out the article for an enhanced slow-mo view.
Now that guy had a good weekend. He speared a robot from the sky, feasted on mutton, and went home on the shoulders of his fellow cosplayers.
Or… he had to pay damages to the owner of the drone and got banned from future reenactments.
I hope it’s the former. One can’t help but sympathize with this mock foot soldier. He woke up, donned helmet and tunic, ate smoked fish (he’s Russian), and tried his best to disappear into a medieval fantasy.
Until a robot from the future zoomed over his head. What a buzz-kill! (pun intended)
It’s too much. And the guy already had a spear in his hand. Put in that situation, who wouldn’t go Attila on this flying illusion-killer?
Drones will be everywhere soon. In sky, land, and sea. At your work. In your home. Swimming through your intestines (believe it). In your breakfast cereal (because why not?)
They will be utilitarian at first, delivering pizzas and packages and monitoring traffic. Some, of course, are recreational; perhaps we already have the millennial version of kite-flying?
But the medieval drone-spearing got me thinking about more advanced recreation applications. Bio-mimicry will reach a stage where the human eye can’t distinguish between machine and animal. Might we replace big game hunting with big drone hunting? Or versions of The Most Dangerous Game?
It’s not a new concept. Yul Brynner looks every bit as terrifying now as he did in 1973:
(the clip is also great for the victim’s comically bad death-acting)
In the creation of fictional worlds, virtual reality will stay way ahead of robot-building. Convincing VR universes will arrive long before convincing mechanical tigers.
And yet… until we can jack our sensory organs to provide realistic fictional-body experiences, drone hunting might just be a thing.
The feel of sore muscles making the attack. The concussion traveling up your arm after impact. Consider the cathartic nature of bot game-hunting in a world dominated by drones:
You wake up. On the way to the kitchen, you pass several cleaning drones. You eat breakfast while reading news of human job loss to hyper-efficient machines. While driving to work (if you still drive), you spy more flying bots than real birds. Drones drive or gallop next to you on the roads; they cross at the crosswalks in front of you. At work, they clean the building and deliver your lunch.
By noon, you will really want to spear one in its mechanical brain.
Well, now you can! For just two hundred dollars a drone, you can take your weapon of choice onto the range and bag as many as you like.
In this case, bio-mimicry won’t even be necessary. It might not even be desired. If the machine looks like a machine, destroying one will give us the illusion of control.
If just for an hour.
I like to imagine that our favorite Russian reenactor now has a taste for machine blood. He’s gone rogue with his spear and costume, searching the hinterlands for bots to kill.
Maybe if he capitalizes on his new reputation, he can hire himself out as a hunter of nuisance drones. Start a promising new career field.
There’s going to be plenty of work.