Humans have long been obsessed with the idea of eternal life. Cultures around the world have created legends and stories around the concept for thousands of years: the Chinese have the legend of Chang’e and the elixir of life, the ancient Greeks wrote poems on Tithonus and his pleading with Zeus in order to become immune to death, and vampires, warlocks and Wendigos have purveyed countless legends for millennia.
Of course, many people have written these legends off as nothing more than stories, but perhaps they do have some truth to them after all. Cryonics is the theory of preserving a body after death with the intention of reviving it in the future when medical technology has better capabilities; and while it may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, cryonics is actually becoming a reality faster than many would believe.
The idea behind cryonics is that a body is frozen cryogenically in order to preserve it, with future scientists being tasked with waking the frozen person up again later in the future to allow them a chance at a new life in a totally new era. Technology has not quite reached this stage yet, but there are still many experts and scientists that believe that future scientists will have the technology and the knowledge required to revive the dead.
There are two main types of immortality that are being discussed by philosophers and scientists today; physical immortality, and biological immortality. Physical immortality would allow you to retain sentience and avoid death, including ideas such as body rejuvenation and the inhibition of cellular aging (the main ideas behind cryogenics). Biological immortality, on the other hand, is the total absence of aging – which is far off from becoming reality, as much as many would like it to be! It may seem like a novel concept that cannot possibly apply to the real world – perhaps to the characters of RoboCop, but not to us!
Regardless, there are currently three companies in the United States and one in Russia that offer cryogenic services, allowing customers to buy memberships in order to book their places in the far future. The prices of cryonics currently vary widely, and may include a slew of additional commitments such as life insurance in the companies’ names, as well as the extra costs of transport, storage and labour to transport members’ bodies safely to storage locations until the time has come for them to be granted a second chance at life.
Whether or not you believe that future scientists will be able to offer eternal life, there can be no denying that it is the dream of many millions of people to ‘live forever’, so to speak. The appeal of pop culture fads such as Harry Potter, the vampires in Twilight and True Blood, and many other fairy tales have long documented our fascination with eternal existence, and cryogenics supporters are willing to try just in case the movement does indeed work out.
Many blogs and articles have even speculated that in the future, humans may not even need their original bodies anymore, with robotics and cyborg technology replacing our natural organs for more hard-wearing, technologically reliant bodies.
For those of us who are fascinated by the idea of cryonics but not quite ready to purchase a membership just yet, there are many great casino games that allow us to live out our love for immortality, including Microgaming’s vampire-themed Immortal Romance and other popular robot- and zombie-themed slots like NetEnt’s Zombies and Openbet’s RoboCop. Realistic games like these offer all of the fun of the ‘eternal life’ notion, just without the commitment and the idea of being frozen in the name of science!