Science fiction – the real thing – has two roles in our lives: to criticise the way things are, and to predict the way things will be. Over the years, it was good at both: sci-fi has shown us where the mindless pursuit of profits, the constant craving for power, the increasing reliance on technology, and the unchecked development of science can lead. It has also predicted seemingly incredible advancements of technology, especially in communication, transportation, and entertainment. What it hasn’t predicted, in turn, is where some of these positive and negative developments might lead. Let us take a look at some things, from smartphones to 7 Sultans online casino, that not even science fiction writers could foresee, things that have become part of our everyday lives.
Of course, pocket-sized computers and portable communication devices were predicted a long time ago – telephony was invented in the late 19th century, which made the development of wireless voice communication an obvious next step. What futurists and visionaries of the genre probably didn’t foresee was, in turn, the smartphone’s effect on our society.
Today, smartphones are more than just communication devices and pocket-sized computers: they are the entertainment hub of choice for a generation. You see more people with their faces buried in their phones’ screens than you saw with headphones over their ears when the Walkman was the “next big thing”. According to some, the emergence of the “personal screen” – and the “hyperconnectivity” that it has brought forth has led to social alienation, one of the most serious long-term issues science fiction doesn’t sufficiently cover.
Entertainment has changed a lot since internet connectivity became available to the masses. Video games, that were once confined to home computers and arcades, have become readily available online. Some slightly controversial forms of entertainment have also made it to the great online world: people today can find whatever games they can think of over the internet, and play them in the form they prefer.
Online gambling is one of the most interesting innovations of the last two decades. Made possible by the development of online payments and security measures, people can not only play casino games – they can play them the way they would play them in real life, at gaming venues like the 7 Sultans Casino. The 7 Sultans has been launched at the turn of the century and has been around ever since, offering its players an ever-increasing variety of games to play. And people seeking the thrill of wagering flock to the 7 Sultans and its likes, that offer them a much more casual form of gambling than a visit to a land-based casino but with a similar entertainment value. The online gambling industry has its supporters and opponents alike, debating the legitimacy of the business, and its effects on society.
The “sensational” media
Have you been following the mainstream media lately? Look at the headlines: crime, terror, scandal, gossip, “sensational” science, and so forth. The news – no matter if they are on the telly, in a newspaper, or on your favourite news outlet on the internet – have become biased toward the “sensational”, and their goal is no longer to inform but to sell. You can hardly ever find a pertinent analysis of the situation anymore – the media seems to be contempt with shocking its audience into buying the next issue, watching the next news bulletin, and “clicking here for more details”.
With so much competition, news outlets seem to have forgotten about their purpose – to inform the public – and to focus on making profits instead. Audiences, in turn, have grown incapable of distinguishing between real news and fake ones, treating all news with the same belief or disbelief, respectively.