Science fiction and the whole idea of aliens, in movies and computer games, is so embedded now in the public consciousness that it’s difficult to separate the fact and the fiction. Some people think that Hollywood movies and computer games are one of the ways in which governments slowly acclimatize people to this. There used to be this old theory that you couldn’t say this was real, because there would be panic in the streets. But what if you slipped it out generally, slowly, over the years, in all these movies, so that people were so used to the idea?
More interesting to me is the way that both Pope and interviewer Sebastian Haley place alien contact in the context of moral questions, and tacitly conflate the West with the world, as though aliens wouldn’t affect non-Western peoples. Pope describes hoping that any visiting aliens are friendly lest they destroy us all.
GamesBeat: We can hope that it doesn’t come back on us, all the terrible things that we’ve done to other civilizations.
Pope: Yes. It would be a kind of cosmic karma, I suppose, if it did. Our only hope would be that great staple of sci-fi, to use the aliens’ own technology against them.