The Westworld economy

Have you been watching HBOs Westworld?

What an interesting show! I'll try not to reveal any (or too many) spoilers in this post. As I was watching the show with all its advanced technology I was wondering what sort of economy the people of this world inhabit. What's the economy of the Westworld park and what's the economy of the real world outside the park?

Westworld monetary policy

Given that Westworld is a glorified amusement park it's interesting to note that it appears to have its own currency. We witness various guests of Westwest using coins. We see this on a few occasions: when paying for drinks at the bar, when bribing 'hosts' and when paying for the (ahem!) special services from some of the more attractive hosts.

I can call only presume that the coins are fake money - think Monopoly money, and have no true value in the real world. Perhaps each guest is given a stipend to start off with upon entering the park.

It appears unlikely that a park guest could buy additional Westworld coins prior to entering the park. The reason being that in Westworld  guests are free to do as they please. Should they require extra money they could simply rob the local bank or steal from behind the bar - heck, they wouldn't need to pay for anything as they could in theory just take it.

The fact that the Westworld coinage is in theory unlimited once you're in the park would significantly devalue its worth in the real world. Surely you'd only be willing to pay a pittance  for a worthless currency, or even not pay at all which is why I came to the conclusion that the guest must simply be given a pot of money to start with.

Westworld real world economy 

The first thing to note in the real world scenes in Westworld is the impressively advanced technology. Not only do we witness the incredibly futuristic computer systems and infrastructure, but the hosts themselves are incredibly advanced to the point where they are virtually indistinguishable from real humans.

Such advancements in technology including the ability to create a whole 'world' for a theme park suggests incredible wealth in the economy. The sheer size of the park with such a large number of robots is staggering.

This got me thinking that perhaps this society has reached a point where money is no longer an object. We never see anyone in the real world discuss money nor exchange it. If a job needs doing they just go ahead and do it (such as build a new canyon). I wonder whether humanity has reach some sort of Utopia. After all, they have the robots who can in theory do anything that a human can - why would anyone need to do a days work again when you could just have robots doing all the jobs.

It appears odd that humanity could have reached such technological advancement, called creating incredibly advanced robots, only to use them as hosts in the Westworld theme park. We can only assume that the robots are used in the real world as well, effectively making all work done by a human to be defunct.

The only think that makes me cautious about that conclusion is the obvious and continual references to the Westworld company Board and also references to ownership. In a world where robots could do everything for humanity why would there need to be a focus on ownership, business and on profit? These references make me reason that perhaps there is such a thing as personal wealth. 

All the attendees of Westworld appear to be reasonably well off. If Westworld is run like a company then you would expect the price per ticket to be astronomical in order to maintain it as it is - just think of all the 'hosts' to repair every time there's a gun fight!

Readers, what are your thoughts on the Westworld economy?

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