When you visit the home page for Westworld, you’re greeted and pitched as a potential Newcomer.
I want to go to Westworld. Like, immediately.
But as that’s not currently an option, let’s break down the terms of service for ‘Delos Destinations’, and see if we can’t unearth some clues.
Delos, first of all, is a Greek island, and the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Apollo is the god of the sun. He’s also the god of truth, music, poetry, healing and prophecy. He’s also, oddly, the god of plague. He’s represented as perpetually young, a beardless man who also is the choir director of the Muses, the Nine Goddesses who rule over the Arts & Sciences.
Artemis, the virgin goddess, is the goddess of The Hunt. Notably hostile to transgressors, she takes great joy in hunting and eliminating fools who would cross her path.
Delos Destinations is ostensibly the owner of Westworld.
Let’s take a look at their contract.
(Note: These are basically unreadable, but I did my best. It’s basically not good enough. The best thing to do is go to the Westworld site. Or just read my comments below. I’m cherrypicking all the relevant stuff anyway. Or, if you’re feeling frisky, click on any of these to make them go big.)
Okay, nothing there. Let’s keep reading.
Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. Delos indemnifies themselves against a number of things here, but it’s interesting that they cite marital and relational strife among issues like losing a finger.
Also, the list of things that people have died from in Westworld:
— Buffalo stampede. Seems possible, I guess.
— Self-Cannibalism. Um. Eating yourself? Okay…
— Accidental Hanging. It’s bad enough when it’s intentional.
— Drowning. Check.
— 3rd Degree Burns. Okay. And they died from them? Huh.
— Auto-erotic asphyxiation. Ahem.
— Blunt force trauma. Expected.
— Allergic reaction to non-native plant life. Interesting…
— Falling from great heights. Bummer.
— Common manslaughter. Y’know, the common kind.
— Tumbleweeds. Exqueeze me? Tumbleweeds have killed people? What the hell is going on in there? Tumbleweeds. Come on.
I also see here that all the weapons are park property. You can’t mess with them or tamper with them. And you can’t bring your own gun.
All ‘livestock’ are Hosts. Except for flies. Ah, the literal fly in the ointment.
That also means that horses, cattle, rattlesnakes, coyotes, spiders, etc have a programmed cognition.
Here’s another doozy:
Please note: The appearance of danger is not the same as true danger.
OHOHOHOHOHOHO! Oh reallllllly?
…and all hosts use the Good Samaritan™ reflex
Whew! That sounds like a good reflex. Trademarked, too. So other western-themed parks don’t steal your proprietary virtual reflex program. Smart.
That was an interesting section. Let’s keep reading.
So you have to first, surrender any “virtual reality recorders and devices” and any “holographic recreation devices.”
I wonder if that’s recreation as in play or recreation as is re-creating.
It’s pretty clear that they want to control the message. Only Delos-approved photographers.
You also have to leave when your “leave date” arrives and you cannot try to “hide within the park” past your leave date. That one is probably for people like me, who’d be like “fuck it. I’m staying.”
Once you exit the park, you require decompression.
Like a scuba diver.
And 28 days is the max visit. Ed Harris’s face looks like he’s been there three ice ages. That’s one ruddy hombre.
Okay, so let’s unpack this: You finish your stay in Westworld, and you head “out” to the Mesa Gold resort. Fine. There, in the resort and at the Mesa Bar (a place of, I’m guessing, a season three bloodbath) you ‘decompress.’ After all that killing and raping and crazy shit, they must need to monitor you for PTSD. Fine.
But if you say “You guys should build a gallows on top of Dead Man’s Bluff.” It becomes their idea.
If you say “I snuck up behind another Newcomer while he was tyin’ a swine and stabbed him in the kidney.” They’re supposed to report you. You can’t kill a hobo in Westworld just to watch him die. Unless he/she is livestock. Then, no problemo. But don’t kill other humans or you’ll maybe be subjected to being reported. Possibly.
They technically adhere to the laws of The Territory. Hmmm. Is that boilerplate legalese? Dustin? Anyone? If not, it sounds ominous.
Just report me to the cops, my good man. No need to get ‘The Territory’ involved in all this good rot. What what.
Part 4a: did we mention what happens in Westworld stays in Westworld?
Part 4b. Seriously, no kidding. Don’t talk about this shit.
They call the park a “compound.” That’s a lovely word. How many Kennedy’s are in the park at any given time? That’s the only compound I know that isn’t a paramilitary or straight military fortress.
Okay, here’s a biggie for the wealthy denizens of Elysium:
Delos Inc. has successfully avoided providing personal data in response to a legal process involving outside court entities for its entire history of existence.
If the law comes a-calling, asking “how come you went a-walkin in with yer father-in-law and came a-walkin out alone?” Not gonna tell them.
Jesus H. Christ! Here are the things that become Delos’ property once you enter the gates of hell:
Your skin cells
YOUR FUCKING DNA
Um. What’s going on here?
“Delos, Inc reserves the right to use this property in any way, shape or form it sees fit.”
Aaaaaaaaand I’m out.
“Tickets! Tickets here! Two all inclusive tickets to the famous Mesa Grand resort and the Mesa God Bar & Grille. Famous for its secrecy! Perfect place to “take” a troublesome spouse! Perks include learning to horseback ride, a free old fashioned at the Mesa Bar and BEING FUCKING CLONED. Step right up!”
Honestly, if every video game I’ve ever played had taken my DNA to be used as they see fit? The internet would just consist of thousands upon thousands of pages of Jon Snow Think Pieces and there wouldn’t be a carton of ice cream left in the known world. Terrifying.
Optimistic Side possibility: I’d have sent my clones to just physically overwhelm every Trump rally. It would have been like Hardhomme, but with charging, sword-wielding Lord Castletons in Tom Brady jerseys and ‘Lady Mormont For President’ hats.
And, when you see your life evaporating in front of your eyes, when you see that a cloned version of you has accessed your bank accounts and taken over the helm of your family business, when you see that your children are hugging a clone who looks just like you? Well, you won’t be able to get out of the contract by begging, screaming, pleading, crying or begging. Did we say begging twice? Ha! That’s funny.
ENJOY YOUR STAY AT WESTWORLD.