You can imagine our surprise when we came across a Guardian review of a new documentary about Phil Kennedy. Why I hear you ask? Well because we had already made our own documentary of sorts about the doctor. In 2019 Klang Games launched a podcast called The Life Cycle. This was one of our efforts to investigate the near future world in order to better build SEED.
Dr Phil Kennedy is the unlikely trailblazing neurologist with a charming lilting Irish brogue who implanted people with devices to help them communicate - when things got difficult for him he went rogue and implanted himself. It’s a pretty wild story, including details that he wrote a pretty weird NSFW novel called 2051 - an effort to better spread his ideas. Take them mainstream as it were. (You can hear some of the novel on the podcast)
My co-host Eva Kelley got kind of obsessed with the guy, and managed to convince me - and herself - and most importantly our bosses here at Klang to fly out to America to meet the man himself! She first outlines the story to me in Episode 4. It's a pretty fun story, I can see why they made a documentary about it. A well-intentioned doctor wants to allow locked-in patients the possibility of communication with the outside world. But as with a lot of people willing to be pioneers and think outside the box, Dr Phil got shut down. That's when he went to Belize...
In the end Eva spent four hours in Dr Phil's company, and the result is a fascinating podcast episode. We were really fortunate that Eva could track him down and get to talk with him, because while it may be that others in the neurological industry distrust him and his methods, there can be no doubt in the earnestness of his endeavors. They're underlined with empathy , compassion and curiosity. With a silver thread of whacky made scientist delight!
Have a listen to judge for yourself:
All of which raises the question: why was a man who implanted himself and others with a communication device in his brain of interest to us at Klang? Well the answers lies with Seedlings. The are autonomous beings whose lives we share on Avesta, we do this through something we could call 'covitalism', and it's powered by our ability to access their brain, as it were. Seedlings have a mindbank, where their experiences, thoughts and desires are stored, and through which, players can get an insight into their Seedling's minds.
After all, the world of brain interfacing and neurological emulation is here: in the future, like on Avesta, we will be communicating with voices in our heads, talking to one another in ways as yet unimagined, wordlessly, with nothing but the power of our brains and some invisible technology.