He applied the Page 69 Test to Game Slaves, his first book, and reported the following:
Page 69 in Game Slaves is a pivotal moment for NPC (non-player character) Dakota. The great science fiction out there is able to examine what it means to be human through so many different lenses. Doing it through AI minds was a blast.Visit Gard Skinner's website and the Game Slaves Facebook page.
On page 69, Dakota is trying to come to terms with what her value is to the world…
She says, “It still makes no sense. There are holes everywhere... Or maybe I’m dead? I remember falling from a really high place, a wall of rock zooming down. It’s so vivid. Am I hallucinating all this before I hit?"
No one answered. We’d all been tossed from cliffs before. Hundreds of times.
“I had friends. I had a life.”
“Can you name them?” York asked.
“There’s more. Your explanation doesn’t add up.”
York leaned over. “Or, admit this, it could be that you’re programmed to think it doesn’t add up?”
“I feel more for some of you than others. Some I don’t like at all, York. The point is, I feel. I get hungry. Maybe I’m being tricked. Maybe you’re all in on it... I have sadness. I get afraid. I experience joy. I’m lonely, even when we’re all together. I’m different from the rest of you.”
She pinched her arm. Ran her fingers through her hair. Held her breath till she turned blue. Stomped her own toes with the heel of her boot.
But she was just kidding herself. One way or another, it was all programmed response.