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WestWorld is all about a themepark run by the Delos corporation, a place where people?s wildest fantasies come true. The film opens at an airport, where themepark guests are returning to the outside world, all with rave reviews of the place.

?Westworld ...where robot men and women are programmed to serve you for ...Romance ...Violence ...Anything?

Delos? themepark is the pinnacle of an augmented reality holiday experience. Split into three separate zones for different tastes, the park offers something for everyone. There is a RomanWorld themepark for those who long to experience life exactly as the Romans did, in a roman city. MedievalWorld is based in a large castle and lush gardens of a medieval queen and her black knight, with the entire court in attendance. Finally, there is WestWorld, an authentic 1880s American wild west town, complete and accurate in every detail, and including considerable scrub land around it.

Outside the zones is desert, the whole park is in the middle of nowhere. Robot wildlife complete the feel, as all organic animals have been removed. Cameras and sensors everywhere regulate the park?s activity, from one central, underground control room. Everything is centred round giving the best experience possible to the guests.

In all the zones, apart from theme, the set-up is the same. Guests mingle with the ?people? who ?live? in those zones. Each of the permanent residents is a highly advanced and lifelike robot, designed to look exactly human on the outside, and to mover and talk like such. Such a concept is far beyond today?s robot humanoids, but we are progressing in that same direction even now.

Each robot is programmed to role-play a specific figure in the zone ? the medieval queen is regal and elegant; the medieval black knight is dastardly. In WestWorld, gunslingers are no holds barred, cocky, confident quick-draws, all townsfolk have their own lives, the sheriff, the hotellier, barman, shopkeepers, even stagecoach drivers and robotic horses, all fill out their own roles.

After the initial credits and airport introduction, the film starts out with two holidaying friends who travel to Delos. James Brolin and Richard Benjamin, are two bored yuppies, one of which has been to WestWorld before. Costing $1000 a day, the park?s rustic charms don?t seem worth all that, until they happen onto one of the secrets to WestWorld?s success. Visitors, who have seen countless movies of the Wild West find they can start brawls, gunfights, shoot-to-kill the robot townsfolk and gunslingers (who then bleed realistically) and basically indulge in debauchery. Every movie inspired fantasy of the wild west (or medieval Europe, or Rome) is possible here.

Everything seems perfect, and the film follows the guests through the first few days? of their holiday until disaster strikes, and emergent behaviour, hinted as having been a growing problem for some time, by the park?s staff, starts to cascade over the threshold. Something goes wrong in the hideously complex central control system, and suddenly the safety systems which prevent injury to guests, are off.

Carnage and bloodshed ensues.

Westworld takes all the power of a virtual reality ultimate role-played environment, and puts it into augmented reality. Barring the eventual bloodbath, which hopefully won?t occur, it details fairly precisely what augmented reality roleplay environments are capable of. It also highlights the one limitation of augmented roleplay that virtual does not have ? you cannot take a holiday from yourself. In an augmented environment, you are still you, and can live out fantasies, as the person you are, outside.


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