Superhot is a Kickstarter project for a game in which time moves only when you physically move your character. Here's one fascinating analysis:
In Superhot, it’s not that you can distort time exactly – after all, whenever you take a step, your enemies get the same amount of time to take a step themselves. Instead, your brain is running as fast as it likes while (the rest of) your body remains in the same time stream as everything else.
And then it struck me: this might be close to the experience of an emulated brain housed in a regular-sized body.
Let’s say that, in the future, we artificially replicate/emulate human minds on computers. And let’s put an emulated human mind inside a physical, robotic body. The limits on how fast it can think are its hardware and its programming. As technology and processor speeds improve, the “person” could think faster and faster and would experience the outside world as moving slower and slower in comparison.
… but even though you might have a ridiculously high processing speed to think and analyze a situation, your physical body is still bound by the normal laws of physics. Moving your arms or legs requires moving forward in the same stream of time as everyone else. In order to, say, turn your head to look to your left and gather more information, you need to let time pass for your enemies, too.
The article concludes that to make the game more physically realistic, you'd have to have place a finite budget of processing power on the character's brain since being able to think indefinitely while the rest of the world stayed frozen would require a near infinite amount of processing power.
The trailer for Lucy, a new action movie starring Scarlett Johansson, posits what might happen if a person could use 100% of their brain instead of just 10%. But we might need far more such brain capacity to achieve what is shown in The Matrix or Superhot. Perhaps that is what it feels like to be God-like, to have so much energy and processing power that you can understand all things that are happening before any time has passed.
The game theory dynamics are complex. It seems like to the extent that you’re competing with others, you want to be faster. To the extent that you’re cooperating/collaborating with others, you want them to be faster. And overarching all of it, there’s a coordination factor in that you don’t want to be too different from others.
I was at Amazon when Jeff Bezos banned Powerpoint. Some say it was because he didn't like thinking to be bent and twisted to fit into the tyrannical, atomized slide-by-slide nature of a Powerpoint deck (this is the Tufte argument). But having been in meetings with Jeff, I also think that he was so smart that as soon as anyone started presenting a deck Jeff would just flip ahead in the presentation and finish reading it before you'd even completed presenting your first slide. He would grow bored and impatient waiting for you to unfold some pre-constructed narrative; he'd rather inhale the ideas and get on to debating them.
Writing our ideas out in prose was the only way to get enough of a head start on Jeff's brain to slow him down to the same speed as everyone else. For those dead silent ten minutes while Jeff sat reading your essay, it was as if you were the Flash and time in the world around you had stopped.