5
$\begingroup$

Checkpoints have been a staple of video games for decades and are almost as old as video games themselves, but how? These little tiny features have made a huge difference in the way we play games, allowing us to restart at a fair point or reload a checkpoint if we so desire. How, using science, not magic, can I explain the existence of these leaps through time?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I feel like this is a duplicate, although a good question, of a few things asked about time travel and teleportation. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Jan 1 '17 at 1:34
  • $\begingroup$ Reality-check is appropriate but I doubt you can answers that work with the science-based tag in place. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Jan 1 '17 at 1:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why do you need to explain game checkpoints? Though, Assassin's Creed explains it well — damage is actually de-sync $\endgroup$ – ifly6 Jan 1 '17 at 3:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What is your definition of magic? I mean, computers have checkpoints, so if everything is in the Matrix, the answer is easy $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jan 1 '17 at 3:44
  • $\begingroup$ Kind of you to accept my answer. Despite having to stretch the nature of reality and science to stay within the parameters of your question. Usually it comes as pleasant surprise to have an answer accepted. In this case a challenging question deserved a challenging answer. Doffs hat in gratitude. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 4 '17 at 1:37
11
$\begingroup$

To explain checkpoints scientifically you need to assume the existence of an alternative universe where the sapient inhabitants of this cosmos possess the natural ability of premortem transtemporal metempsychosis (PTM). Basically if you die your consciousness is transferred to a moment sufficiently prior to your death to continue and, hopefully, avoid being killed in the same way again.

To unpack the terminology.

"Metempsychosis" is the transfer of a mind from one to another body. The term is often used to describe reincarnation. In this case, the reincarnation takes place in the person's body at an earlier time.

"Transtemporal", naturally, means "across time" and deals with the time travel component.

"Premortem" means "before death" and preferrably the person who has died will want their mind to be reincarnated a reasonably lot earlier than when they died.

For this to be natural process and therefore explicable scientifically, it is not unreasonable that this happens in an alternative universe.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "the sapient inhabitants of this cosmos possess the natural ability of premortem transtemporal metempsychosis (PTM)." How is this not "magic"? It sounds very much like superpowers to me, just with a technobabble explanation for it. $\endgroup$ – Nicol Bolas Jan 1 '17 at 4:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NicolBolas This is a natural part of the alternative cosmos. So science in that universe can explain it. There's no way a science-based checkpoint can work in our universe -- apart from a Matrix-style total immersion VR, and that's illusory. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 1 '17 at 4:21
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think this is basically just an invocation of Clarke's third law. The difference between "magic" and "science" is largely a matter of how something is studied (in-universe) and presented (out-of-universe), not an inherent property of the thing itself. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Jan 1 '17 at 5:14
5
$\begingroup$

The 'Eve Online' explanation of resurrection after a character is killed is that a clone of the player (with implanted memory backup) is spawned (covered by insurance, naturally) after death. The impact on a society of this way of recovering from death would tend to make people more casual about making life or death decisions, since you can recover from them if you make a mistake.

So your checkpoint is a medical station that grabs a cell sample for cloning and also does a brain scan to back up your memories.

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

The 'checkpoint' is an on demand, full immersion virtual reality. The mega-computer it is connected to runs a simulation found to be identical to reality in all but an infinitesimal number of instances.

A person pays for the checkpoint and is plugged into the system. They are able to play out choices in the VR, over and over, until they get the desired outcome. At which point the key elements to achieve this outcome are impressed onto both their conscious and subconscious minds, so that the same events occur in reality (within a negligible margin of error*)

*results are not guaranteed in the event of clashing checkpoints or undetectable quantum fissures

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Each checkpoint could have a 3D scanner that can scan you on a molecular level. So everytime you die, the checkpoint re-prints you on a molecular level.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ But the effect of what you have done will still be there $\endgroup$ – TrEs-2b Jan 1 '17 at 5:05
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Ha! I forgot about that. But then again there are some games where things remain changed even after you regenerate. $\endgroup$ – Clangorous Chimera Jan 1 '17 at 5:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.