Dystopian Futures I Wouldn’t Mind At All #1: RunWorld

“Wouldn’t it be better if we all just ran everywhere.” I said.

RunWorld changed everything. Giving you the chance to build up healthcare credits by doing (and tracking) activities. Stay healthy and strong, and you can stay healthy and strong in your old age too.

Everyone is running all the time, and it’s great.

I wouldn’t say I ushered in the world of private healthcare, and the gamification of almost every aspect of our lives. It’s more like I was excited about the opportunity to run more.

The high-street is a world of lycra and running backpacks. Between shops we trot at a pace considerate to those around us. We take filter lanes into shops where we slow down to a walk, for browsing. We’re not savages after all.

The world is better place, tourists flock through old street soaking in history at speed while enjoying their own dopamine, we all rush across beautiful countryside because you can get more views in that way.

We live further away from things, but not driving distance, because we all know we want to run to the pub, and back. Not that we go to the pub to drink that much, as we all only have so many credits to spare, and naturally, these things are all connected.

At work, I walk or jog, on my treadmill desk — as does the developer I’m working with. The designer needs to sit down to do their job — a risk we’re all painfully aware of every time we ask her to do some revisions. But then, this is why she gets paid more — it’s the danger money of having to sit down, when instead you could be earning a trickle credits for your old age while you work.

Like most, I’ve been thinking about getting a new job, one that’s more active, and can let me accrue more healthcare credits as I go. When I was a boy my father wanted me to get away from the manual work he had done all his life. How blissfully he would have lived these days.

It’s not all good of course. There’s those who can’t quite manage, through some illness, disease or other genetic failure that the parent themselves failed to prevent through their own genetic grooming and pairing in. These people are a burden to their families. It’s like single mothers, who, nearly straight out of childbirth, ave to start running to keep their newborn alive — but they have to spend tokens while they do this.

That’s the weird thing, the way the healthcare tokens tick down for the treatment these people need — when you see a young carer running marathon after marathon, producing their own problems for old age while racking up healthcare tokens to keep their charge alive and well, you wonder if this really is the best way to do it.

Dystopian Futures I Wouldn’t Mind At All is a series about worrying sci-fi futures that I could probably come to peace with in some way.

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