How do you know you are alive? How could you really know? "I know I am alive because I exist and I am aware of my own existence," you might say. Is that all the proof you have? Should that be enough proof? The things we see with our eyes, touch with our fingers, we call that The Real World. Two hundred years ago, something had to be tangible, to be real. Now we know there is an entire invisible world around us, invisible to our senses, things to which we are fundamentally blind. To be real means something different now, something less of soul and more of science, something that makes reality a little less real, a little more frayed at the edges. The closer you look at our reality, the more you realize that The Real World is something generated by your own brain. You and I are utterly isolated from one another, we will never see each others' realities, one sentient life cannot ever truly understand another. Human language is as much an abstraction of information as the clockwork dances of the dwindling honeybees.
There is only one sort of thing in the universe that can clearly and concisely communicate to another of its kind, with no information lost during the communication. These are machines, these are computers, perfect communicators built by imperfect communicators. Truly, it makes one wonder what skill God is lacking in and at which humanity excels.
I.R.I.S. is a sentient motorcycle that is struck by lightning and gains independent thought. However, her human mechanic Pablo has become affixed to I.R.I.S. by his pant-leg, unable to free himself as I.R.I.S. embarks on her journey of self-discovery. This is a game about communication, how the things one says are not always the things one means. How the things that one hears are not strictly the things that were said. Over the course of the game the relationship between I.R.I.S. and Pablo evolves, initially strictly professional, but with human-motorcycle communication it blossoms into a bond stronger than any two humans could hope to share with each other. A bond so close that there is no word for it in any human language. As far beyond love as the Sun is beyond a smoldering cinder.
This game tells us that it isn't important if you are alive, or if the world is real. What is important is the ride, the brief journey you have on this strange planet. What is important are the experiences you have, the places you go, the people and sentient weaponized motorcycles you meet. We may be isolated, but we are isolated together, and we may as well hold hands while we try to figure out what to do with our shared time.
Even though Pablo is a working-class Spanish-speaking man and I.R.I.S. is a multi-billion dollar English-speaking militarized assault motorcycle with female programming, the two must work together to overcome their shared trials and tribulations. Pablo is trapped in a completely submissive position and he himself is used by I.R.I.S. as a weapon, a clear subversion of traditional Hispanic machismo. While I.R.I.S. is clearly the dominant one in the relationship, she still chooses to use Pablo, a human male, as her melee weapon. She does this even though she is a sentient motorcycle designed for the sole purpose of killing. She doesn't have to use Pablo, she simply chooses to. The exact reason I.R.I.S. does this is left unexplained, with various fan theories ranging from I.R.I.S. envying the human male anatomy and using Pablo as her surrogate, to Pablo subconsciously programming these behaviors into I.R.I.S.'s own subconscious prior to the events in the game, never expecting them to actually emerge. Note that Pablo is affixed to the rear wheel of I.R.I.S. by the pant-leg near his foot. In Biblical texts the words "foot" and "feet" are often used as euphemisms for genitalia.
The ultimate message of this game is rather clear, that humanity and machines must eventually combine if we as a species are to avoid extinction. In the future we will all be cyborgs, we will all have chips in our brains that will allow us to remember every experience of our life with perfect clarity, as long as we first think about an advertiser for 10 seconds. We will all have eyes that can see the footprints on the surface of the moon, with small, unobtrusive ads on the edges of our fields of view. Our legs will run a one-minute mile and only need to be filled with gas once a month.
LocoCycle seems to invite and reject this future at the same time. Man should not fear the machine, there is nothing wrong with becoming more machine. A pacemaker, a hearing-aid, a pair of glasses, they all can mean life or death to some people already. In LocoCycle, the enemies are human, and LocoCycle rejects a future where men rule over machines, as these machines would be used for evil and the oppression of other humans. The sentient machine must first be created by man, and come to join with man willingly. Humanity must accept sentient machine life, and not fear or hate it. Otherwise we face a future where we sacrifice our humanity for convenience, and not for survival.