Liam Young, 03 11 08

Japan thinks the real world should be more like Gundam, the apocalyptic robot war series. Next year, a team of experts from all walks of life will join together to form the Gundam Academy, an academic institution dedicated to bringing humanity into the age of mecha suits, helper robots, and space colonization. It’s time for the Universal Century.

The Gundam Academy is pulling its virtual faculty from experts in the fields of astrophysics, engineering, anthropology, medicine, linguistics, and urban planning. Their intention is to study the lessons and ideas contained in the Gundam franchise to usher in social and technological advances. Via I09.
Shinichi Nakasuka, a professor of astronautics at the University of Tokyo and one of the founders of the academy, said: “Studying fiction is an excellent way to get ideas about the future. Scientists often restrict their way of thinking to what they factually know. The comic shows how ordinary people without much deep scientific knowledge can come up with very good ideas.”

One can already see such parallels when you look at the bionic solider legs developed at Berkley to support the terrestrial carriage of heavy packs.

And the US military have already recreated a significant battle from the Iraq war, at 1:1 scale back on the original site with live actors and big bangs in order to produce a simulation video game for training back home.

It seems that life is no longer just stranger than fiction but perhaps life and fiction are somewhat interchangeable.

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